It’s not often the state has a massive election just six months after deciding the president. Montanans know how high the stakes are. “It’s one of the basic requirements of citizenship is to go out and take part and vote,” Flathead County voter Rod Ayres said. But Montana’s special election, scheduled to take place Thursday between Democrat Rob Quist, Republican Greg Gianforte and Libertarian Mark Wicks, is costing local election offices big money. Montana’s lone U.S. House seat is vacant following Ryan Zinke’s appointment to Secretary of the Interior. We made calls around the region to find out how much this election costs.
Missoula County is spending about an extra $230,000 after their general election ran them $345,000. Gallatin County will spend an about extra $200,000 on top of their $323,000 general election. Flathead County’s election will run them about an extra $145,000 from on top of an almost $200,000 general election.
County officials from each office say the costs are record-breakers when it comes to annual election expenses.