Ballots are already out for school elections and special districts all over Montana, but by May 2nd, most voters will have yet another ballot to fill out: for the high-profile congressional race to replace Ryan Zinke. In many counties, the ballots don’t have any ‘Due by date’ stamped on the outside and some elections administrators are worried people may miss the May 2nd deadline for school districts. Ravalli County Election Administrator Regina Plettenberg says her office is fielding around 20 calls a day because people are confused.
“When we mailed out those ballots on the 17th, we got a large number of calls from people wondering why the congressional race was not on that ballot, so we had to explain to people that there would be a second ballot coming out, Plettenberg said. “You know, we were hoping the election date would be a little later so that we would avoid this.”
In a surprise to many, Governor Steve Bullock chose the earliest possible date for the congressional election, which is on a Thursday, right before Memorial Day weekend. Somehow, Missoula County saw this coming and did something a little different. Elections coordinator Rebecca Connors says a new ‘Due by date’ stamp will likely be used in future elections.