Hours later, election attorney Marc Elias announced a lawsuit filed on behalf of the Montana Democrats.
The lawsuit claims the two new laws violate the state’s Constitution by putting unconstitutional burdens on young, low income, disabled and Indigenous voters. It asks the court to stop the secretary of state from enforcing the laws.
“In America, all attempts to silence Americans should be met with an immediate response,” Sandi Luckey, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party, said in a statement to CNN on Tuesday. “The goal of the lawsuit is to stop Republicans from silencing voters, to protect fair elections, and the freedom to vote for everyone in Montana.”
In the last month, the effort to restrict voting has intensified as state legislatures begin to head into the final months of their respective sessions.
The Republican sponsors of the Montana bills argue that the bills aren’t about making it harder for voters, but making the state’s election system even more secure and efficient.
State. Rep. Sharon Greef, who sponsored the bill that repealed same day voter registration, said the legislation is about ensuring clean and fair elections by making sure voters register early. The new law sets late registration to noon the day before an election.
State Sen. Mike Cuffe, who sponsored the ID bill, acknowledged that Montana has secure elections but said the legislation was about improving the process and ensuring Montana residents are the ones voting in the state’s elections.