Clerks have advice for Montana voters

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The Montana Association of Clerks and Recorders has advice for making sure your vote is counted next week.

As the June 5 federal primary quickly approaches, election administrators across Montana want voters to be prepared for Election Day.

“We want voters to be aware of last-minute deadlines and reminders to ensure their vote counts,” Ruth Baker, president of the Montana Association of Clerks and Recorders, said in a press release.

To that end, the association sent out these reminders for voters, whether they intend to vote by mail or at polling places on June 5:

If voting by mail

♦ If voters have not yet returned their vote-by-mail ballot, election administrators ask voters to return their ballot in person. Mailing times vary across the state and the best way to ensure your ballot is received is to deliver it by hand to your local elections office. Clerks do not recommend returning your ballot by mail at this point.

♦ The deadline for vote-by-mail ballots to be received is 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5. Postmark does not apply in Montana elections, which is why clerks encourage in-person delivery.

♦ Voters may also drop off their vote-by-mail ballot at any polling place in their county on Election Day.

♦ If voters do not return the un-voted ballots in their vote-by-mail packet, they will NOT invalidate their vote.

♦ If a voter has received a ballot prior to the primary, that is the voter’s official ballot and he or she cannot appear at a polling place on Election Day to vote. Replacement absentee ballots can be issued at the county election office.

♦ Track the status of your vote-by-mail ballot by visiting MyVoterPageMT.com.

♦ The deadline to request an absentee ballot is noon, Monday, June 4. Voters who miss this deadline are required to vote in person at their polling place on Election Day.

Late registration reminders

♦ Voters who need to update their voter information or register to vote can do so in the 29 days before and on Election Day in person at their local elections office.

♦ Friday, June 1, is the last full day election services are available before the primary. The deadline to late register or request an absentee ballot is noon, Monday, June 4. Election offices observe this statutory closure before every election to run reports and finalize voter registration lists. Election administrators want voters to know about this closure of services from noon to 5 p.m. the day before the election, as voters appear at local offices only to find that they have to come back the next day

♦ Voters who miss the noon deadline the day before the primary can appear at their county election office for same-day voter registration between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on June 5.

♦ To avoid wait times for the June 5 primary, voters are encouraged not to wait until
Election Day to register and vote.

Polling place reminders

♦ Polling-place voting is reserved for voters who registered 30 days prior to the election and have not requested a ballot prior to Election Day.

♦ Several counties across Montana must relocate polling places due to building availability. If you plan to vote in person at a polling place on Tuesday, June 5, verify its location via the MyVoterPageMT.com.

♦ Polling place voters can view a sample ballot via MyVoterPageMT.com. Voters can print out a sample absentee status, sample ballots, ballot at home, consider their choices and use their sample printout as a guide in the voting booth.

The Association of Clerks and Recorders said voters should contact their local elections administrator with questions or concerns, or for polling place and office locations on Election Day.

The association recently created a website with basic elections resources — deadlines, forms, links, etc. — for voters. VotinginMontana.com offers non-partisan information about registration, polling place locations, absentee status, sample ballots, etc.

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