HELENA — Though polling places aren’t open in Montana for this year’s primary, many people are still voting on Election Day.
Lewis and Clark County election officials said Tuesday that they have seen large numbers of voters Tuesday bringing their ballots to drop-off sites inside and outside the City-County Building in Helena.
Voters were also waiting at the county elections office to register to vote, if they had an issue with their registration, or if they didn’t receive a ballot in the mail. However, officials say the lines for same-day registration have been shorter than in some recent elections – even as voters stood 6 feet apart to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
Marlee Watson recently turned 18 and registered to vote at a recent climate action rally, but she says she didn’t receive a mail ballot. She said she was glad not to have to stand in a long line, but that it was worth waiting to take part in the election.
“I think that as an adult, it’s my civic duty to vote, it’s my civic duty to choose my leaders and choose those who are making the decisions for the people,” said Watson. “If you don’t vote, then it’s a waste of your voice, because everyone’s voice matters, everyone’s voice counts – and if you’re not utilizing that, then what are you doing with yourself?”
Audrey McCue, Lewis and Clark County’s elections supervisor, said more than 21,000 votes had already been counted by Tuesday morning. They had at least 5,000 left to count – in addition to whatever ballots they receive on Election Day. The office will be accepting ballots until 8 p.m.