Brad Johnson opposes same-day voter registration

by Jay Stevens 

Can you believe this?

The man who’s ultimately responsible for all of our Election-Day problems – secretary of state Brad Johnson – has come out against same-day registration:

The secretary of state’s office is supporting a measure to do away with same-day voter registration in Montana, arguing it could help prevent a repeat of problems that occurred during the state’s 2006 election.

Republican Secretary of State Brad Johnson is in favor of a bill that would require voters to register before Election Day, his chief of staff, Mark Simonich, said Thursday.

Simonich said Election Day 2006, the first year in which same-day registration was allowed in the state, was “somewhat chaotic” because county election officials were required to simultaneously register voters and run elections.

Interesting. Especially because much of the chaos can be lain directly at Johnson’s feet. It was his office, after all, that failed to provide clear voting guides for Montanans. It was his office, after all, that failed to provide easy access to registration rules. It was his office that failed to help voting precincts prepare for the possible crush on election day, on a day when a nationally prominent and historically important Senate race was to be decided.

Instead, Brad Johnson was plastering Montana roadways with this:

That’s right, Johnson was erecting billboards across the state featuring his face and an American flag — ostensibly there to provide voters with election information. Of course, only an idiot would deny that they were campaign posters. For what, Brad? Governorship in 2008?

Perhaps Brad’s office would be best served by eliminating elections altogether. That would make his job easier, wouldn’t it?

In any case, it’s definitely odd that Johnson uses as evidence the chaos he’s in no small part responsible for to do away with a popular voting law. If you were the suspicious type, you might think he tried to sabotage same-day registration…

(In a side note, the most repulsive comment in the article comes courtesy of Rick Jore:

Jore said those who wait to register until the last minute also may not be well-informed on the issues.

Of course, after that comment – if we follow Jore’s logic – we should probably disenfranchise the voters of HD 12.

Or, to paraphrase David Crisp, who could have been talking to Rick Jore:

But if standards for competence and productivity were imposed, wouldn’t you miss voting?



  1. jhwygirl

    Talk of the office – my republican filled office – today…
    all are really liking it. “that election was a mess!”

    My reply? “Oh, come on! One election and there ain’t gonna be bugs? It’d be different if there was evidence of fraud or something like that – but just because of long lines? Please!”


    I sure hope this one doesn’t come down to party lines – the Governor is wide-open on this one. Surely, he’s the bullseye on this, no?

  2. Squid

    You know you democrats are really a piece of work. You send a bunch of sleaze bag lawyers to Florida in the 2000 election to disenfranchise military voters overseas and now you want every Tom, Dick, Hillary, Nancy or Harry to walk up to a polling place, 5 minutes before it closes, with no photo ID, and not only be able to vote, but be able to register to vote as well.

    Register to vote before a prescribed date, before the election, and show up with a photo ID or you don’t vote. What is so friggen hard about following a few simple rules that even a simple democrat should be able to follow.

    Democrats are going to bitch no matter what. Give a democrat voter two damn votes and he’ll bitch because he didn’t get three and Mr. Ed will make sure it makes Headline News. Just a little free pub for you commandant…..:~)

  3. noodly appendage

    The clerk and recorders, who are the county election officers, probably support it to. They were the ones who saw the abuses up close, for example the democrats handing out sandwiches and water with tester stickers, to those in line, electioneering within the polling place, or perhaps, the university professors offering class credit to those who voted.
    Sandwiches, class credit, how far is that from just paying people to wait in line to register and vote?

  4. Yep, as Scweitzer called it, it was up to Johnson to get those bugs worked out. He didn’t. Maybe he should have spent some of those tax dollars he spent plastering his face all over billboards and TV stations and put put it into smooth elections.

    Noodly appendage, where is the proof of the campaign fraud? What you detailed is indeed so if I am not mistaken.

    Oh, and class credit? Are you making the claim that only democrats go to school?

  5. Zing, indeed...

    All this from Mark Simonich, too…very much a Republican hack. You may remember him from his drinking days with Martz’s staffer involved in the drunk driving accident. If you want a good reason to oppose this Bill, it’s that Mark and Brad support it…

  6. noodly appendage

    The proof? It happened. I heard the students in line talking about the extra credit. The sandwiches and water handouts incident was told to me by those in charge of the election. I think there’s even some pictures. No charges were filed because no citizen made an official complaint, it’s my understanding.

    I don’t think it’s campaign “fraud” . It’s called “electioneering in a polling place” which is also illegal, although not “campaign fraud”.

    Just to be specific.

    I’ve seen people wait in line to do something with government, and after thirty minutes or so their patience is gone and they’re ranting at the government. Waiting three or four hours to vote and being happy about it seemed incongruous to me, still does.

    Watching the couple come out of the polling place after voting at 11 pm and get in their subaru with Alaska plates and drive away got me a little concerned. Were they “Drive by voters”? Did they do that up and down the I-90 corridor? Shouldn’t they contribute to the county, roads, highways through buying Montana license plates for their fancy new subaru before demanding special priviedges from the rest of us who take the time to register properly, and pay our taxes and drive legally?

    As for your little partisan red herring about who goes to school, we all know the political tendencies of college students. Still, I don’t think my post was partisan at all. It was the democrats who handed out the sandwiches, that was just a fact.

    But I didn’t say anything at all about the party of the professors or students or the implications for either party.

    That was your assumption and says more about you, and what you are “saying”, or perhaps, what it is you are trying to do with same day registration, democrat.

  7. Zing, indeed...

    Nood. Here’s something for you: you “hearing” something doesn’t mean it happened nor does it constitute “proof.” If there is proof of something, file damn complaint and let it be investigated and the process happen. You can legislate based on rumors.

  8. No, hearing something isn’t ‘proof’, but even more to the point that noodly is waffling on, it isn’t proof of anything illegal. What amazes me, being somewhat more than passingly familiar with the circumstances in question, is why the Republican screechers who are crying foul can’t seem to come up with any specifics. Forget the lack of eveidence; how credible is aqn accusation when the accusers can’t even offer a where, when or who?

  9. noodly appendage

    I see you’re not denying the electioneering in the courthouse, either, woofie. That is illegal.

    As for offering extra credit for classes, illegal or no, and it’s a fine line, I’d say, as we know employers give time off with pay to vote, it happened. There’s no waffling, woofie, I’m saying it all happened, including the couple from out of state.

    Or is “waffling” your rather chickenshit way of calling me a liar?

  10. noodly appendage

    So ask the chair of the Democrat party in Gallatin co, Walseth, about the “who” in the electioneering in the Courthouse.

  11. Noodly, your ignorance is showing. One can’t deny a charge that hasn’t been made. Do you have a claim to make or not? Apparently not. Is handing out sandwiches to people standing in a line electioneering, and as such illegal? According to you it is … with absolutely no support whatsoever. Notice, that doesn’t make you a liar, it just makes you look like a whining little pussy.

    Wait a second, you are lying. You claim that somethings illegal happened, but you won’t claim who or what, or offer any support for your say-so. That would be lying. I’m not going to do your legwork for you, whiner. Now, Noodly, if you have something to prove, prove it.

    Oh wait, we know that would never happen, because then you would have to stand up and take credit for yourself and your claims. Obviously, you’re too chickenshit to do that. Guess what, kitten, you obviously don’t have the cajones for this game. Ya see, unlike you, I actually believe in the Constitution, and think that every person deserves the right to face their accuser. You wish to whisper rumor from afar, and pray that the legislature will keep you safe from the nice people that you disagree with. How sad you truly must be.

    You’ve just had your ass handed to you. I await the response that will never come, an honest claim of wrong doing. No, no, instead, all we will see is more of your blisteringly weak drivel, hiding behind your anonymity, to protect the sanctity of your momma’s basement haven. If you have anything, Noodly, then bring it on. Otherwise, I will continue to state quite matter-of-factly that YOU GOT NOTHIN.

  12. Squid

    Ah hell, Noodly, just wait until the next election and snap up one of those sandwiches and send it on to Wolf after you let it bake in the sun a couple of weeks. They’ll probably be passing out the same horse rooster sandwiches with the Vote for Tester sticker covered up with a Vote for the Ovarian-American/African-American Combo Team sticker. Picked the Ovarian-American term off of a cartoon in the Socialist Review here in Spokane this morning.

  13. Much as it grinds me to agree with Squidly, who would make a fine statue in the entrace of any museum, it does strike me as a little loose to expect that people who register on election day may do so because they 1) we’re not talked into it, and 2) might not vote at all if close scrutiny is paid them. Sounds like a scam to me.

    Nice to see the Dems on the collecting side of this game. Reminds me of Illionois, 1960. Republicans have been slamming them on election day for years. Time for payback.

  14. noodly appendage

    Bravely spoken, Wuffie, as you post anonymously here on a democrat blog site. I must’ve missed your showing up and doing something… in fact, other than bitching and moaning on your blog, what is it you’ve done?

    Your post is so full of red herrings it is almost impossible to reply. First, ask Walseth about his party’s run in with the Clerk and Recorder and the Sheriff on election day. I’m just reporting what happened, not making news here. The sandwiches and the stickers happened. No amount of bluster against me will change that.

    You’d like to make news, but anonymously, and then challenge me to stand up? Why the double standard?

    And why the heat? It’s a heckuva protest and sturm and drang, and profanity, and ad hominem attack over some little blogspot. Whose panties are in a wad about this, kitten? Not mine. I’m just telling it like it happened.

    If class extra credit was offered, and given, by the MSU Political Science department, like the students told the television interviewer late election night, so what? Isn’t that like the employers offering time off with pay to go vote? But what, just what, if one of the Political Science colleagues were running for office in that election? Would that bring the issue of extra credit a little across the line rather than just tightroping it? And would protecting that little secret be enough to set Wuffie off with his profanity and personal attacks?

  15. walt

    There are other benefits to being a citizen of my state that take a period of residence. Why not voter registration? Voting is only for citizens. I live in a college town. Unfortunately, this means that students who have no long term interest in this community can vote without establishing residency. They should use the absentee ballot for their home counties and states.

  16. First, the only “benefit” I know of to being a citizen of Montana is not paying out-of-state tuition at the state university system. Certainly newly arrived residents are not excused from property or income taxes.

    And who’s to judge who’s the better voter? I know many college students who are much better informed on state and national issues than my neighbors, who’ve lived in the state for a few decades.

    Of course this post has nothing to do with who should be allowed to vote (IMHO it’s everyone), but that Johnson failed miserably at his job, and is now blaming the law for his office’s own shortcomings.

  17. goof houlihan

    blast from the past, eh?

  1. 1 Senate tables effort to kill same-day registration « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Brad Johnson’s desire to shut down same-day voter registration is well-documented on this site. That voting precincts and county courthouses were overwhelmed by same-day registrants shows the […]

  2. 2 The Gazette’s Peculiar Endorsement of Brad Johnson Ignores His Own Positions and Failed Leadership | Intelligent Discontent

    […] wouldn’t it have been worth mentioning that, after his office badly managed the 2006 election, he came out against it? The secretary of state’s office is supporting a measure to do away with same-day voter […]

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