HELENA – Monday is the last day of regular voter registration for June’s primary election in Montana.
Voters will still be able to register after this deadline, but they must go in person to the county elections office. Those who register late will receive a mail ballot, instead of voting at the polls on Election Day.
Lewis and Clark County election officials will send out ballots on Friday to about 24,000 people who already signed up to vote absentee. Audrey McCue, the county elections supervisor, said that is about half of registered voters.
McCue said this election season is unusual, because important primary deadlines come so close to Tuesday’s school and special district elections.
“Usually we’d have the school election the first week of May, and then the second week in May is when things would pick up for the primary,” she said. “This year, the school election is a little later, so we have overlap this week.”
Lewis and Clark County is administering elections for Helena Public Schools – including two proposed increases to property tax levies – as well as a number of fire, water and sewer districts. McCue said about 35 percent of those ballots had been returned by Monday. Voters can turn in their ballots at the county elections office until 5 p.m. on Monday and until 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
The county is not handling the vote on a $29.5 million bond proposal that would pay for a new high school in East Helena. Those ballots must be returned to the East Helena School District offices by 8 p.m. Tuesday. District clerk Kim Aarstad said they have received more than half of the ballots already, and that she expects total turnout to be around 60 percent.
The Montana Association of Clerks and Recorders/Election Administrators has put together a new website, votinginmontana.com, to bring together information on voter registration, deadlines and other election issues. They have also started a Facebook page.