Yellowstone County elections office sets up early at Metra because of COVID

Posted at 10:22 AM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 12:22:46-04

To help with social distance and to handle the crowds leading up to elections, the Yellowstone County Elections Office will open Friday at MetraPark.

Metra workers and elections administrator Bret Rutherford set up at the Montana Pavilion on Thursday.


Many events have been canceled, so the elections office could move in early.

Registering and picking up absentee ballots can now only be done at the Metra and not the courthouse.


The lobby at the Yellowstone County Courthouse can handle seven people for distancing and the elections office two.

Early voting starts on Friday.

Bret Rutherford.jpg
Bret Rutherford

"Normally we're not out here until Election Day for the most part," Rutherford said. "And just our space needs, that's why we're here. It's just the safer option for us. It might be raining tomorrow so if we have a line of people standing six feet apart. We have a lot of space in the building to actually have people indoors rather than outside, where they would be at the courthouse. And DMV is kind of like that right now. It's, 'take a number and wait your turn' situation. There's people out on the sidewalk in the morning every day, so we saw that and we figured we need to make the change."

Ballots can still be dropped off at the courthouse, just not picked up.

Ballots will be mailed Oct. 9, 25 days before the Nov. 3 election.