Election Administrator Explains Absentee vs. Mail in Ballots
There seems to be some confusion over the two different kinds of ballots that will be used in the all mail general election in November; absentee ballots and mail-in ballots.
Missoula County Elections Administrator Bradley Seaman again explains the difference between the two mail only ballots.
Because of the law that covers a mail ballot election, they must be manned places of deposit in order to drop off a ballot. So for our November election, we're going to make sure that we have a lot of ballot drop off locations available to voters on Election Day.
“The biggest difference is who gets a ballot,” said Seaman. “With an absentee ballot, it's designed around the polling place, and for voters who've requested to receive their ballot in the mail. “For an election, like we're planning for November, it's just like our school district or municipal election where every active voter will get a ballot automatically. And so that's important because you need to be an active voter. You can confirm that by checking myvoterpagemt.com, to make sure that your status is active.”
Seaman said there is one important distinction between the two mail-in ballots.
“Everything is the same between an absentee ballot and the mail ballot with the one exception of after hours ballot drop boxes,” he said. “Because of the law that covers a mail ballot election, they must be manned places of deposit in order to drop off a ballot. So for our November election, we're going to make sure that we have a lot of ballot drop off locations available to voters on Election Day.”
Seaman said each mail-in ballot will be checked to make sure the signatures match the voter’s registration.
“Since we won't have polling places open for this election, what we do with all mail ballots is the same as for other elections, we verify your signature off of the signature in the database,” he said. “So since we can't check an ID, instead, we're going to confirm that the signature matches what's on file. We'll be doing a mailer here about the end of the month reaching out to polling place voters just to give them an opportunity to update that signature to help make sure things go smoothly for all voters this election.”
Seaman said 12 drop-off locations will be available when all the ballots are mailed out on October 9.