HELENA – Ballots have gone out to voters around Lewis and Clark County for the upcoming municipal elections.

County election officials said they mailed out about 39,000 ballots Wednesday. About 18,000 went to people in the city of Helena, who will choose a mayor and two city commissioners. About 1,000 went to East Helena, where voters have a contested race for city council.

All voters across the county will consider a 15-year levy that would fund operations at a renovated jail.

Audrey McCue, Lewis and Clark County’s elections supervisor, said ballots should start to arrive as soon as Thursday or Friday for people in Helena. She said anyone who doesn’t get their ballot within a week should call the county elections office to

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McCue said previous municipal elections have usually had between 40 and 50 percent turnout.

“We think of the 39,000 ballots we mailed, we’ll probably see 15,000 to 20,000 of those come back voted,” she said.

About 5,200 voters in the East Helena School District will also receive a second ballot. The district is holding a separate election to determine if residents want to research building a high school. Those ballots must be mailed back or turned in at the school district office, not the county elections office.

McCue said county elections officials will pass East Helena ballots in their original envelopes on to the school district. However, if voters put their East Helena ballots in the same envelope as their county ballots, she said it will be impossible for the district to certify where the ballot came from, so it will have to be discarded.

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