On Wednesday, over 70,000 election ballots will be mailed to Missoula County voters.

KGVO News spoke to Missoula County Elections Supervisor Bradley Seaman just before noon who provided details about the ballots going into the mail.

“We are sending out ballots, a very large number of ballots,” said Seaman. “Over 70,000 ballots are heading out to voters in Missoula County to vote on school and special district elections. We've got two fire district elections, one in Frenchtown and one in Seeley Lake and then multiple school district elections covering our high school districts, our elementary school districts, and our school district one which is our large Missoula County for levies, trustees and many other races being proposed. Those ballots are mailing today (Wednesday) so voters should start seeing them as early as tomorrow (Thursday) arriving in their mailboxes.”

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Seaman described those who will be receiving ballots.

“In Missoula County, we run all of our school and special district elections by mail ballot,” he said. “So everybody who is an active or provisionally registered voter is going to receive a ballot in the mail. If you feel like you should have received one and haven't seen it in a few days, contact our office at (406) 258-4751, and we can help confirm that you're in a district that's going to an election and make sure that ballot gets to you.”

Controversy is swirling over this election due to the fact that Montana District Court Judge Michael Moses issued an injunction suspending three new election laws passed by the most recent legislative session. In response, Montana Attorney General has filed an appeal to restore the restrictions on same day voter registration, disallowing both student ID’s for voter registration and ballot harvesting.

Seaman commented on the pending court actions.

“Our election laws are under a legal challenge and the courts don't always follow our election schedule,” he said. “So these challenges are being decided currently on each of these laws as we go through and we work to help prepare this election. As of today, we have same day voter registration. There have been requests for stays filed by others. The best thing that a voter can do to make sure that they get the opportunity to register and cast a ballot is ‘don’t wait till Election Day’.”

Seaman was asked what would happen if an individual showed up at the Election Center on Election Day to register and then vote.

“It depends if they're an active voter and they've got a ballot that has been sent to them, they can still receive a replacement,” he said. “Anytime we do a replacement, we have to void that original ballot so that it cannot be accepted and then we can issue a new ballot. That will always be available to voters who have received a ballot in the mail on Election Day. But if they're not registered to vote, and they come in on Election Day to register, and to cast a ballot, depending on where those laws shake out, they'll either be permitted to do so, or prohibited from doing so. So the best thing we can do is encourage people to come in before noon on Monday, May 2.”

In addition to the school and special district elections, the Elections Office will administer the federal primary on Tuesday, June 7 and the federal general election on Tuesday, November 8.

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