Because the spectacle of Republicans spending millions of dollars to rid Montana of a problem that doesn’t exist is so clearly at odds with their core beliefs of limiting government spending and regulations, it exposes their real motive: retain political power at all costs.
In 2014, when Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock vetoed a measure that would have eliminated same‐day voter registration, the Republican‐led state legislature decided to make it a ballot measure. Backers of the measure said it would cut down on lines at the polls. But one Republican, State Representative Washburn, may have spilled the beans. As MSNBC reported, “When asked by a Democratic opponent of the bill who he thought should not vote, Washburn referred to “the 100,000 students that are here that don’t have Montana driver’s licenses, that don’t have any identification other than theirs at the college.” You see, “college students, like blacks and Hispanics, who also are often affected by restrictions on voting, tend to vote Democratic,” MSNBC concluded.
In November, the people voted and the result was decisive: 57% voted to retain same day registration, and only 43% voted against it. Finally, a victory against voter suppression.