With Election Day one week from now, the Elections Center and other Missoula County staff are getting lots of questions from voters. Though some answers may depend on a voter’s particular circumstances, here are responses to a few commonly asked questions.
What should I do with my absentee ballot application? Can I drop it off at the courthouse still?
At this point, voters should bring their absentee ballot application to the Elections Center at the Fairgrounds to ensure they get their ballot. The Elections Center is located in Building 15, and drivers should enter through the Russell Street entrance or the west entrance on South Avenue (the east entrance on South is closed due to construction).
How frequently are you mailing out ballots for those with new absentee requests?
The Elections Center mails out absentee ballots every day. However, starting Wednesday, Oct. 31, they are strongly encouraging voters to come to the Fairgrounds to pick up their ballots.
What is the last day for voters to get their ballots in the mail to ensure they’re counted on Election Day?
The Secretary of State’s office recommends allowing a week for mailing to the Elections Office. The Missoula County Elections Center recommends that voters sending in their ballots from Missoula put them in the mail, with sufficient postage (two Forever stamps) by Thursday, Nov. 1. Absentee ballots must be RECEIVED at the Elections Center by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6. If your ballot is merely postmarked by then, it won’t be counted!
You can also drop off your ballot at the Elections Center, at the Courthouse and at the drive-thru ballot drop-off at the Fairgrounds. Hours for the drive-thru are:
- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 1 and 2, and Monday, Nov. 5
- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.
- 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, Election Day
I see the Elections Center is now open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Friday and open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Is the late registration cutoff still noon on Monday? What, if any, services do you offer after noon on Nov. 5?
The cutoff for late registration on Monday, Nov. 5, is noon, but same-day voter registration will be available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6. After noon on Nov. 5, the Elections Center will offer ballot drive-thru drop-off and will also help people find their polling place.
I’ve signed my spouse’s envelope. Can I cross out the incorrect signature and sign the correct ballot?
Yes. The ballot will be processed with the corrected signature.
The outer envelope is ripped and/or reopened. If the bar code and ballot number are still legible, can the Elections Center process it?
Yes, just use tape to “reseal” the envelope.
Will there be an Elections Office presence at the Courthouse on Election Day?
No, all services will be at the Election Center at the Fairgrounds. The Elections Center will have runners come by at 8 p.m. to pick up ballots from the courthouse.
Don’t see an answer to your question? Post it in the comments and we’ll get you an answer as soon as possible!
With third parties bombarding voters’ mailboxes with conflicting information this election cycle, here are a few other things to keep in mind:
- The only source for accurate information regarding the status of a voter’s absentee ballot is www.myvoterpagemt.com.
- The following polling places have been relocated for this election:Hellgate Elementary School: Voters report to Montana Technology & Development Center, 5785 W. Broadway
Cold Springs Elementary School: Voters report to Chief Charlo Elementary School, 5600 Longview Drive
Meadow Hill Middle School: Voters report to Chief Charlo Elementary School, 5600 Longview Drive
Hawthorne Elementary School: Voters report to Orchard Homes Country Life Club, 2537 S. Third St. W.
- Your best source for up-to-date information will always be the Missoula County Elections Office. You can follow them on Facebook @MissoulaCountyElections, visit their website at www.missoulavotes.com or call them at 406-258-4751.