The state of Montana is being sued by the Montana Democratic Party after their governor signed stricter voter ID and registration bills into law, according to The Washington Examiner.
Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed two bills into law on Monday, including one that put an end to the same-day voter registration and a second that updated which IDs could be used for voting, which would force some voters to present two forms of ID in order to cast their ballots.
The Montana Democratic Party filed their suit on Tuesday, claiming that Gianforte’s decision to sign the bills into law is intentionally suppressing votes.
“These laws violate everything we believe as Americans, and everything we believe as Montanans. They intentionally impede peoples’ voting rights,” said Montana Democratic Party Executive Director Sandi Luckey, according to the Missoula Current.
According to the suit, these bills are unconstitutional and will put an undue and unequal strain on younger voters. This, according to state Democrats, violates their equal protection.
“Montana’s legislators knew that both the Voter ID Restrictions and the Election Day Registration Ban would place heightened burdens on Montana’s youngest voters when it passed both laws,” the complaint says.
“The Montana Legislature heard direct testimony from both student voters and advocacy organizations that both laws would impose barriers on the franchise for young voters; it passed the bill anyway in direct contravention of Montana’s Equal Protection Clause.”
However, the Republican sponsor for the ID bill, state Sen. Mike Cuffe (R), brushed the claims aside, saying that voter fraud was present in the last election and that something must be done to ensure that Montana residents are the only ones whose votes are being counted.
“I’m not saying, nowhere in the bill are we indicating that there is any claim of voter fraud or any wrongdoing,” said Cuffe on the Senate floor in February. “What we’re looking at here is attempting to improve on the system, to make a good sense process better, to ensure that all members all around the state can feel very satisfactory that folks who have signed up to vote are Montana citizens.”