Montana Absentee Ballot Guide

Last updated June 16, 2014
Military and Overseas voters should visit the Overseas Vote Foundation. Long Distance Voter's information should only be used by voters with US mailing addresses.

Important Deadlines

  • Voter Registration Form:  Postmarked 30 days before the election (unless that date falls on a Sunday, in which case it must be postmarked 29 days before Election Day). You may also register in person up until Election Day
  • Absentee Ballot Application: Received by noon on the day before the election
  • Voted Absentee Ballot: Received before close of polls on Election Day

How to vote by absentee ballot

Register to vote

Recommended: Use our Voter Registration Tool. Enter your information, print and sign the completed form, and mail it to the address printed on the form. 

You can also use Montana's voter registration formSign the completed form and mail it to your County Election Administrator. The addresses are on the form. 

Verify your voter registration

It's best to double check your registration before applying for your absentee ballot. Verify your voter registration today and avoid problems down the line. If there's a problem with your registration, register again before proceeding.

NOTE: Most people receive their voter registration cards in the mail 2-3 weeks after registering to vote. Don't worry if you lost your voter registration card. You don't actually need it to vote.

Apply for your absentee ballot

Good news!  Any registered Montana voter can vote by absentee ballot.

Your absentee ballot application will be rejected if you apply any sooner than 75 days before an election.  Your application will also be rejected if you apply after the deadline. 

You can request your absentee ballot by downloading and completing the Montana Absentee Ballot Application.  If you want the absentee ballot mailed to you, be sure to include your mailing address in the space provided. 

Mail, fax, or hand-deliver your completed absentee ballot application to your County Election Administrator.  The addresses are listed on the form.  Once they process it, they'll mail your absentee ballot to you.

Receive, complete, and return your absentee ballot

Fill out your absentee ballot, sign where indicated, put a stamp on the envelope, and then mail your ballot back to the address listed on the return envelope.  You may be asked to include your Motor Vehicle Division number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Be sure to meet the deadline or your ballot won't be counted!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to provide ID when I register to vote in Montana?

You need to include your Montana driver's license number (or your non-drivers ID card number) on your voter registration form.  If you don't have either of these numbers, you'll need to provide ID before voting for the first time.  You can meet the voter ID requirements by including a copy of your ID with your voter registration form.  Acceptable forms of ID include: a copy of a photo ID that shows your name OR a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document that shows your name and Montana address.

I missed the Montana voter registration deadline.  Is there anything I can do?

If you miss that deadline, you can still register and vote in the election by late registering at your county election office. You can late-register right up until close of polls on election day.

Late registration is available at any time right up through the close of polls on election day. No absentee ballots are issued between noon and 5pm the day before the election however, so if you haven’t registered before then, you should wait until election day to register and vote.

Do I need to provide ID when I vote by absentee ballot in Montana?

You don't need to provide ID if you've already voted in Montana at least once.  If you are a first-time Montana voter, and you did not meet the ID requirements when you registered to vote, you must include a copy of your ID with your absentee ballot application.  Acceptable ID includes a photo ID that shows your name, OR a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that shows your name and Montana address.

Can I vote by absentee ballot on a permanent basis in Montana?

Montana is one of the few states in the nation that offers permanent absentee status to voters.  Use the Montana Absentee Ballot Application to add yourself to the Permanent Absentee List.  You can choose to have ballots sent to you for every subsequent election (including municipal, state and federal) or just for federal elections.  You will need to respond to certain confirmation mailings to remain on the list.  Permanent absentee status is a great way to make sure you never miss another election.

Does Montana offer emergency absentee ballots?

You are are subject to illness or hospitalization between 5pm on the Friday before election day and noon on election day, you may apply for an emergency absentee ballot. Your County Election Administrator will authorize a special absentee election board to bring an emergency absentee ballot to you.  Contact your County Election Administrator for more information. 

Can I vote in person before the election in Montana?

Yes. Check out our Early Voting page for details.

Additional Information

State Election Website:
Email address:
Local Election Officials: Your Local Election Official is the best person to contact if you have questions.  They'll be able to provide up-to-date information on rules and deadlines. 


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