Voicing Our Values

Accountability Alert — HB510 Youth Election Judges

March 1, 2019

HB 510 would have lowered the age required to participate in elections as an election judge from 18 to 16. This bill would have allowed young people access into our elections and democracy sooner and more often — something we know increases not only turnout but helps young folks develop a sense of responsibility and power in our government. 

HB 510 failed its third reading in the house and it’s important we hold our legislators accountable. Decision-makers should be advocating for more accessible and equitable ways for young people to get involved in our democracy, not putting up barriers. Across Montana, poll worker positions are notoriously hard to fill. This bill would have helped Election Administrators and the communities they serve to fill those positions with tech-savvy & excited young people.

Legislators who flipped their “yes” vote to a “no” during the third reading in the House:

  • Rep. Fred Anderson
    • Primary ph: (406) 761-4042
    • Secondary ph: (406) 868-3815
    • Email: Fred.Anderson@mtleg.gov
  • Rep. Julie Dooling
    • Primary ph: (406) 471-4125
    • Email: Julie.Dooling@mtleg.gov
  • Rep. Ross Fitzgerald
    • Primary ph: (406) 788-1443
    • Secondary ph: (406) 467-2032
    • Email: Ross.Fitzgerald@mtleg.gov
  • Rep. Mike Hopkins
    • Primary ph: (406) 531-1775
    • Email: Mike.Hopkins@mtleg.gov
  • Rep. Llew Jones
    • Primary ph: (406) 271-3104
    • Secondary ph: (406) 289-0345
    • Email: Llew.Jones@mtleg.gov
  • Rep. Ray Shaw
    • Primary ph: (406) 842-5039
      Secondary ph: (406) 596-5039
      Email: Ray.Shaw@mtleg.gov

Note sure what to say? Don’t worry! We’ve got a script!

Hi this is ____ from ______. Is Rep. [Last Name] available?

Hi Rep. [Last name]. I’m calling to ask why you changed your vote on HB510 from a “YES” on second reading to a “NO” on third reading. As you know this bill would have allowed 16 year olds like me and my peers get involved in our election process as election judges.

[WAIT FOR THEM TO ANSWER].

I appreciate you for sharing your reasoning. Just so you know  Montana had the highest youth voter turnout increase from 2014 to 2018 in the country. I say that to show you that young Montanans want to engage as civic leaders and are showing up for Montana. I hope in the future our legislators, including yourself, will show up for them in the same way.

Thanks for your time & service.

We’d love to know why they decided to change their votes — please send anything you hear to Amara Reese-Hansell at Amara@forwardmontana.org.