HELENA — The House has endorsed a plan to use only mail-in ballots for the state's main elections on a 57-43 vote despite a divided Republican majority.
The issue has failed for years in the Montana Legislature after the political parties took turns opposing it. Many of the conservative tea party Republicans opposed the measure on Thursday.
The plan brought forward this time was a long time in the making and likely better researched than past efforts.
Under House Bill 130, all local, municipal, state and federal elections would be covered. Schools could still hold elections at a polling place.
The measure sets up drop boxes and allows people to vote in person with the ballot at their local election office.
The bill faces one more largely procedural vote in the House before going to the Senate.