General election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6 and voters will be tasked with making their choice on candidates and important issues facing Montana. Many voters have already cast their absentee ballot, which was mailed out on Oct. 12. According to the Montana Secretary of State, 1,363 absentee ballots were mailed to Mineral County residents.
There was an issue regarding the mailing in which the ballots contained verbiage from the primary election where voters were to only vote one party ballot. This is incorrect because voters can choose candidates from any party in the general election.
Information was distributed to correct the error by Mineral County Elections Administrator Staci McGrew.
As of last Thursday, Oct. 25, only one Mineral County resident requested a new ballot and there were fewer than five phone calls to the Clerk and Recorder’s office regarding the error. However, McGrew said that if any voter feels they voted incorrectly based on the incorrect instructions, they are to contact the office immediately.
The Mineral County Clerk and Recorder’s office actually received more phone calls regarding mailers sent out in late September and in October.
About 90,000 Montanans received a mailer containing an absentee ballot application — causing confusion among people already signed up to get a ballot in the mail.
“Those groups aren’t supposed to make it look like it came from the elections office but they are still confusing,” said McGrew.
According to reports, a mailer was sent out by New American Jobs Fund in partnership between United Steelworkers and the League of Conservation Voters encouraging voters to sign up for mail-ballots.
Absentee ballots must be received by the County Election Office by Nov. 6 at 8 p.m.
In Mineral County elections, voters will be asked to select either incumbent Republican Denley Loge for State Representative House District 14, or Democrat Diane Magone. There are also two candidates running for Justice of the Peace, Jessica Schaak and incumbent Dale Magone.
Other candidates running unopposed are: incumbent Republican Laurie Johnston for Central District County Commissioner; Republican Kelann McLees for County Clerk and Recorder; Republican Mike Boone for County Sheriff/Coroner/Public Administrator; as well as incumbent Ellen Donohue for County Attorney; and Mary Yarnall, Republican, for County Treasurer/Superintendent of Schools.
There are three ballot issues: Initiative 128, which is a 6-mill levy for continued support of the Montana’s public colleges and universities; Initiative 129 which prohibits the collection of another individual’s ballot providing exceptions; and Initiative 185, which raises taxes on all tobacco products and amends the definition to include e-cigarettes and vaping products, and dedicates funds.
A full description of all initiatives and additional voter information can be found in the Voter Information Pamphlet available at the Clerk and Recorder’s office or through the Montana Secretary of State’s office.
Mineral County precinct polling places are located at St. Albert’s Catholic Church for Precinct 22 in Alberton; Superior High School Multi-Purpose Room for Precincts 24, 25 and 30; St. Regis Community Center for Precinct 26; and DeBorgia School Community Center for Precinct 27.
Precincts 22, 24, 25, 26, and 30 will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Precinct 27 will be open from noon to 8 p.m. on Election Day.