With tongue firmly in cheek, I write.

The celebration is underway!

The Missoula Municipal Election Ballot has arrived in mailboxes throughout the city, and happy, expectant voters are rushing to tear open the envelope and vote for their new mayor and the city councilor for their ward.

I can see the excited faces of children as they press up to the kitchen table to watch their parents exercise their precious, hard-won right to choose their own destiny, to decide who will lead their ward and their city, eagerly awaiting their own opportunity to exercise their precious right to affect their destiny and vote, or perhaps they’re imagining the time they can run for office and help guide the future of their beloved city!

And then, I woke up.

If I may look back a bit.

There was a time that some elderly people might remember, when going to the polling place to cast my vote was a social event. The election workers were usually neighbors or even teachers at the local school where the election was held.

We stood in line with our driver’s license to prove our identity, and we were handed a ballot that we took into the booth, closed the curtain and did our part to direct the future of our city, county, state and country.

And, when it was all over, we even got an ‘I Voted’ sticker that the kids at home were envious of.

Back to the present, as I mentioned, your primary election ballot has arrived in the mail.

Open the envelope and find a very helpful brochure explaining how to mark and return your ballot.

You’re asked to use a blue or black in pen to fill in the oval for each race, and there are only two in this primary, for mayor and for your ward’s city council representative.

Once you have completed your ballot, you are asked to place the ballot in the BLUE SECRECY ENVELOPE. Place the secrecy envelope with the ballot inside into the green-topped return signature envelope. Then, sign your name on the voter affirmation line on the return signature envelope. REMEMBER TO SIGN YOUR NAME on the return envelope, and do not sign for another person.

Mailing your ballot is easy. No postage is required, and you are asked to mail the ballot at least a week before the primary election day of September 5. Remember, polling places will NOT be open.


Drop off your ballot at the Missoula County Elections Center at 140 North Russell Street.

Look at BOTH SIDES of the brochure for important voter information.

Primary municipal elections rarely produce a big turnout, even with the ease of mail in ballots.

I just filled out my ballot and it took less that ONE MINUTE to complete, sign, and place it in the mail.

For those who make free to criticize our elected officials in the city, county, state and federal government, that is your right, HOWEVER, if you don’t take the time or effort to cast your vote, your voice will not be heard.

Remember, every vote counts, especially yours!

Countries have fought wars to have the rights we enjoy in Montana and the USA; the least we can do is sit down at the kitchen table and take a minute to vote and mail in our ballots; remember, POSTAGE IS FREE!

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