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Montana ballots heading out Friday

Posted at 6:02 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 20:02:59-04

Ballots for the Nov. 3 General Election will be mailed out on Friday.

Yellowstone County Elections Administrator Bret Rutherford told Q2 News that voters should be watching for their ballot arriving as soon as Saturday, or early next week.

Keep in mind, however, Monday - Columbus Day- is a federal holiday, so there will be no mail service Monday.

Rutherford reminds voters who may have moved or have a new mailing address, their ballots cannot be forwarded.

"If you have moved or your mailing address has changed, you do need to notify the elections office," said Rutherford. "Telling the post office you have moved will not suffice. We have to have written permission to send a ballot to a new address from the voters themselves."

Rutherford said the best way for voters to check their status and track their ballot is through the My Voter page at www.votinginmontana.com.

"That's probably the easiest thing people can do, especially if they're not sure if they've updated their information," said Rutherford.

Rutherford also is reminding voters that since this is an all-mail election, the traditional polling places will not be open.

"Our office has moved to the Montana Pavillion at MetraPark, but it is not a polling place in the traditional sense," said Rutherford. "If you get your mail ballot, use that mail ballot. Feel free to drop it off in person if you want to, if you want to cut out the Postal Service just to play it safe. But voters need to vote the ballot they were sent."

Rutherford pointed to a couple of key dates to keep in mind as the 2020 election draws near.

Oct. 26is the close of voter registration. After that date, late registration must be done in person.

The deadline to return ballots to the Elections office is 8 p.m. on Election Day.

To ensure your ballot arrives in plenty of time, Rutherford advises mailing it back at least one week prior to election day.

Voted ballots can also be dropped off in-person at the Elections Office at the Yellowstone County Courthouse, or at the Elections/Satellite office now open at the Montana Pavillion at MetraPark.