This week, Montana District Court Judge Michael Moses in Billings temporarily blocked several new election laws passed by the recent legislative session.

The Montana Democratic Party, tribal organizations and university groups argued the new laws were meant to make it more difficult for Native Americans, new voters, the elderly and those with disabilities to vote.

The laws that specifically eliminated same-day voter registration, disallowed college students to use their student ID’s to register to vote, and halted the paid collection of voted ballots, commonly called ‘ballot harvesting’, were passed by the Republican controlled legislature.

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Responding on Friday, KGVO News learned that Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen has vowed to fight the court’s decision.

“We've seen record turnover in the jobs of election officials with numerous new election officials trained to run their first election in the coming weeks,” began Jacobsen. “This decision destroys the training that they had just received over the past year to confidently run their upcoming local elections.”

Jacobsen blamed big money political groups for attempting to overthrow the will of the Montana people who supported these new election laws.

“Montana's judicial system should not be able to be bought, paying millions of dollars to out of state lawyers to meddle with Montana elections is unacceptable,” she said. “Montana's election system matters, and we will fight and do everything we can to provide relief to all the parties involved and impacted by this chaotic decision.”

KGVO has reached out to Attorney General Austin Knudsen on their plans to appeal Judge Moses’ rulings.

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