Daines Marches in Lockstep With GOP Bosses in Threatening Montanans’ Ability to Vote Safely 

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

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Daines Marches in Lockstep With GOP Bosses in Threatening Montanans’ Ability to Vote Safely 

While Daines criticized the expansion of voting by mail, his campaign worked behind the scenes to push Republican-leaning counties to adopt mail ballot voting
Helena, MT – Today, Washington Republicans are in court trying to take away counties’ ability to conduct this November’s election under Montana’s mail-ballot-election procedures.  Republicans are suing to challenge Governor Bullock’s August directive, which gave county officials the flexibility and autonomy to decide for themselves how best to administer the election in light of the challenges posed by COVID-19. With this reckless lawsuit, the GOP is threatening Montanans’ ability to vote safely during a global public health crisis. 

Initially, Senator Steve Daines said it was “important we allow that decision to be at the local levels,” which is exactly what Governor Bullock’s directive made possible. However, once Daines’ party bosses in Washington, D.C. pushed their partisan lawsuit to take this flexibility away from local authorities, he abruptly changed his position.

Reports in the weeks following Daines’ initial statement have revealed that Daines’ campaign privately lobbied county commissioners in Republican-leaning counties to adopt the very same election procedures that they publicly criticized because they “worried that voter turnout in the GOP-leaning counties could be reduced, in a tight election, if they didn’t use all-mail ballots.” 

“While Governor Bullock has fought to give decision-making to local counties and ensure all Montanans can vote safely, Steve Daines is prioritizing politics over Montanans’ health, said MDP Communications Advisor Christina Wilkes. “It’s clear that Daines is more concerned with staying in the good graces of his party bosses and boosting his reelection campaign than he is with protecting all Montanans’ right to vote.” 


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