Helena, Mont.— Legislative Referendum 129, known as the Montana Ballot Interference Prevention Act (BIPA), passed by a margin of 63% to 37% of voters in the November 2018 election. BIPA regulates the number of absentee mail ballots that can be collected and who is authorized to collect and deliver ballots other than their own. BIPA requires people to sign and complete a form when delivering ballots to a polling place, a place of deposit, or an election administrator's office. BIPA does not apply to ballots of voters who vote in person on Election Day
Montana voters should be aware of the upcoming November 5th elections. Absentee voters who are participating in a polling place election will have ballots mailed to them on October 11th. Voters who are participating in a mail ballot election will have their ballots mailed to them between October 16th and October 21st.
The Secretary of State and Commissioner of Political Practices (COPP) are reminding voters that BIPA regulations on ballots are in full effect and are being enforced.
BIPA is overseen by three main roles. The Secretary of State is responsible for public outreach and education. County election administrators process BIPA forms and send them to the Office of Political Practices. The COPP, in conjunction with county attorneys, is charged to investigate and enforce BIPA.
To help Montanans understand and comply with BIPA, people who will be delivering another person’s ballot need to be aware of the new requirements.
- BIPA does not apply for ballots returned by mail.
- Voters do not need to fill out a BIPA form to drop off their own ballot.
- Acquaintances, caregivers, family members, or household members are authorized to deliver a ballot for another person.
- A maximum of six ballots can be delivered per election.
- Each person who delivers another voter’s ballot must fill out a ballot collection registry form.
- To fast-track the process, Montanans who want to deliver another voter’s ballot can print and complete the Ballot Collection Registry Form before delivering ballots.
Secretary Stapleton and Commissioner Mangan are grateful for the dedicated work of election administrators who are the front line of BIPA and often the first point of contact in helping Montanans understand legal requirements for ballot delivery.
Montanans with election questions should contact the Secretary of State’s office or their local election office.
Compliance questions should be directed to the Office of Political Practices.
The mission of the Office of the Secretary of State is to help commerce thrive, promote democracy, and record history for future generations. Additional information is available on the Secretary of State’s website.
The mission of the Office of Political Practices is to promote confidence, transparency, and accountability in Montana’s democratic processes. Additional information is available on the Commissioner of Political Practices’ website.
Secretary of State: Susan Ames at email@example.com
Office of Political Practices: (406) 444-2942, firstname.lastname@example.org