Political Campaigns

Protecting the Right to Vote

With Montanans for Free and Fair Elections


01 / Background

In 2014, Montana’s Republican-led Legislature voted along party lines to place an anti-voting rights referendum on that fall’s General Election ballot. Officially called LR-126, the legislative referendum sought to eliminate the state’s Election Day Voter Registration law—a critical voting rights safeguard that allowed any eligible voter in Montana to register and then cast their ballot up until 8:00pm on the night of an election. Election Day Voter Registration had been on the books there for almost a decade and had helped more than 28,000 eligible Montana voters successfully cast their ballots. Losing that right would be a setback for a state that prides itself on elections that have been fair, honest, open, and accurate.

Public Relations / Digital / Movement Building

02 / Strategy

We partnered with Montanans for Free and Fair Elections to develop advertising and message strategy aimed at countering the effort to strip away voting rights in the state. Given that 2014 was already expected to be a low-turnout election year, we knew we would need to convince likely swing and conservative-leaning voters to vote “No” in order to beat the referendum.


03 / Work

Polling indicated that the majority of Montanans thought that the state’s elections were already well run in their state, that every eligible voter should have equal access to the ballot, and that politicians should not try to put up unnecessary roadblocks when it comes to voter registration. Television, radio, and web advertising amplified these key messages with the help of trusted messengers like seniors, ranchers, and veterans.


04 / Results

On Election Day, Montanans rejected this clearly partisan attempt to strip away voting rights in the state. Despite Democratic losses in other statewide races that year, LR-126 was soundly defeated—with 57 percent voting “No” on the measure.