Skip to content

Latest Stories

Top Stories

Montana ends same-day registration, tightens voter ID requirement

Greg Gianforte

GOP Gov. Greg Gianforte approved eliminating same-day voter registration in Montana after it had been used for 15 years.

William Campbell-Corbis/Getty Images

Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed legislation ending Montana's long-standing same-day voter registration practice, while also imposing stricter voter ID requirements.

The Republican governor approved the two restrictive voting measures on Monday, after the GOP-majority Legislature passed the bills largely along party lines last month.

This makes Montana the latest state to roll back voting access following the 2020 election. Republican lawmakers across the country have been pushing for stricter election rules that they say will protect against voter fraud — despite no evidence of widespread wrongdoing. At the same time, Democrats have been advocating for expanding access to the ballot box.

Since 2006, Montana has allowed eligible voters to register and cast a ballot on Election Day. (Twenty other states, plus Washington, D.C., allow for same-day registration.) But now, under this new law, Montanans will have until noon the day before an election to register to vote.

The second bill requires voters to show certain identification before casting a ballot. Acceptable forms of photo ID include a Montana driver's license, government-issued photo ID, passport, military ID, tribal ID or state-issued concealed carry weapons permit. Voters could also provide the last four digits of their Social Security number.

Students can use their school-issued photo IDs to vote as long as they also provide a secondary piece of identification like a bank statement, utility bill, paycheck or another document that shows their name and current address.

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter

Republican Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen specifically requested the Legislature make these voting changes. She said requiring voter ID and implementing voter registration deadlines were "best practices in protecting the integrity of elections."

"Montana has a long history of secure, transparent elections, setting a standard for the nation," Gianforte said in announcing his approval of the bills. "These new laws will help ensure the continued integrity of Montana's elections for years to come."

But voting rights advocates lambasted the new laws as unnecessary barriers to the ballot box. They said the photo ID requirement in particular would impose a financial burden on low-income Montanans and others without government-issued IDs.

It's possible voting rights groups could mount a legal challenge to the new laws, or try to undo them through a ballot initiative.

Read More

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Voters should be able to take the measure of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., since he is poised to win millions of votes in November.

Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty Images

Kennedy should have been in the debate – and states need ranked voting

Richie is co-founder and senior advisor of FairVote.

CNN’s presidential debate coincided with a fresh batch of swing-state snapshots that make one thing perfectly clear: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. may be a longshot to be our 47th president and faces his own controversies, yet the 10 percent he’s often achieving in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and other battlegrounds could easily tilt the presidency.

Why did CNN keep him out with impossible-to-meet requirements? The performances, mistruths and misstatements by Joe Biden and Donald Trump would have shocked Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, who managed to debate seven times without any discussion of golf handicaps — a subject better fit for a “Grumpy Old Men” outtake than one of the year’s two scheduled debates.

Keep ReadingShow less
Bar graph of shopping carts
Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

Have prices increased 40 percent to 50 percent since Trump left office?

This fact brief was originally published by Wisconsin Watch. Read the original here. Fact briefs are published by newsrooms in the Gigafact network, and republished by The Fulcrum. Visit Gigafact to learn more.

Have prices increased 40 percent to 50 percent since Trump left office?


Cumulative inflation since former President Donald Trump left office in January 2021 through May 2024 was 20.1 percent according to data from the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, or CPI-U.

Trump told a crowd on June 18 in Racine, Wis., that "real inflation" is more than twice that.

Keep ReadingShow less
Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs on stage
Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs perform "Fast Car" at the Grammys.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Luke Combs, politics and healing our nation's divide

Nevins is co-publisher of The Fulcrum and co-founder and board chairman of the Bridge Alliance Education Fund.

It’s been a year and a half since I wrote about “The Great Divide,” Luke Combs' song written by Naomi Judd, Paul Overstreet and John Barlow Jarvis. I was moved by the tremendous response I received, and that article is still one of The Fulcrum’s most-read posts.

The lyrics are as powerful today as they were in November 2023:

Keep ReadingShow less