HELENA – Lewis and Clark County election officials are busy opening absentee ballots and setting up polling places ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

For this primary, there are 18 polling locations across 37 precincts in Lewis and Clark County. On Monday, staff traveled to each of the locations to deliver ballots and supplies.
Meanwhile at Helena’s City/County building, about 20 volunteers were busy opening absentee ballots that had already arrived. The deadline to request an absentee ballot closed at noon Monday.

Elections Supervisor Audrey McCue said if those absentee ballots are any indication, voter turnout will be low on Tuesday’s primary.

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“I think if we had a 50 percent turn out that’d be pretty good for a midterm primary,” McCue said. “With the absentee returns we’ve been seeing, when you look at the percent of the absentees we sent out and what’s come back, it’s been pretty low for this election.”

The county, which had put out a call for more volunteer election judges, said it has enough people to staff all the shifts at each polling place, though still not as many volunteers as they would like.

Polls open Tuesday at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. If you have an absentee ballot but haven’t mailed it yet, you’ll need to take it to your local polling location Tuesday.

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