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Voters brave early snow to hit polls in Yellowstone County

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Posted at 4:18 PM, Nov 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-08 18:31:55-05

A cold, snowy start to the morning didn’t keep Yellowstone County residents from voting at MetraPark on Election Day.

“It was right off the back this morning, and it’s been steady ever since, so we’ve been pleasantly surprised,” said Jeana Lervick, the chief polling manager at MetraPark.

An accident on icy roads did cause a delay in getting ballots to the outlying communities of Shepherd and Huntley.

“With some help, we were able to eventually get out there and are hopefully up and running a little bit late this morning, but we did get things going,” Lervick said.

Some voters were confused whether they could still register Tuesday. The Montana Legislature last year approved a new law to eliminate registration on Election Day, but a district court judge later ruled the law unconstitutional.

“We did have a recent change in law, so it is still okay to come in and register same day,” said Lervick.

It’s a bit of a process to register, but plenty of volunteers are helping things run smoothly, which is good for Yellowstone County resident Chris Arthur Brunckhorst.

“Right now, I have to tell them I’m registering new in Yellowstone County and moving from Gallatin County, which I’ve never ever lived in,” said Brunckhorst.

He’s lived in the same house in Laurel for the past 22 years. He just got a new ID at the Yellowstone County Motor Vehicle Department.

“And the gal swapped my son’s phone number with my phone number that day, I pointed it out to her and she told me it’s not my problem. And here I am with her problem,” Brunckhorst said.

Despite the mix-up and the snowy weather, Brunckhorst spent his morning at the polls making sure he was registered to vote, and nothing will stop him from doing his civic duty.

“Here I am standing in line, acting like a new resident,“ he said.

Polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday, and Lervick hopes the turnout will remain just as high throughout the day as it was this morning.

“I don’t know what the weather is anticipated to do but if this morning’s been any indication, it should continue throughout the day,” Lervick said.