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Voting Guide for Montanans Casting Their Ballots

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Forty-five Montana counties are conducting the Nov. 3 election by mail. (alexandra/Adobe Stock)
Forty-five Montana counties are conducting the Nov. 3 election by mail. (alexandra/Adobe Stock)
 By Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - MT - Producer, Contact
October 15, 2020

HELENA, Mont. -- The election is around the corner, and Montanans have a few options for casting their ballots.

Because of COVID-19, the registration deadline by mail or online has been extended to Oct. 26. After that, Montanans will have to register in person.

In 45 of the Treasure State's 56 counties, officials are running the election by mail.

Regina Plettenberg, election administrator for Ravalli County and legislative chair of the Montana Association of Clerks and Recorders and Election Administrators, hopes folks use their kitchen table as a voting booth this year.

"We are hoping that most will vote at home, just so that we can our crowds to a minimum at our offices," Plettenberg urged.

Plettenberg especially encouraged groups at high risk from coronavirus to mail in their ballots. Folks can also drop ballots off at designated locations.

She suggests returning them as soon as they can. Ballots must be received by county offices by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Plettenberg added anyone can check their ballot's status on the "My Voter Page" of the Secretary of State's website.

She said some Montanans are concerned their ballot could be rejected if their signatures have changed. However, if there are issues with a person's ballot, county clerks will contact voters.

"We will be making every effort to reach out to our voters and get that resolved," Plettenberg explained. "Because we don't want to reject ballots. If a voter made the effort to return it, we want to make sure that we can get it accepted."

And Plettenberg suggested people reach out to their county clerks if they need any other issues cleared up.

"If somebody has a question or a concern, we'd much prefer that they give us a call and get it explained or straightened out, rather than not voting or even going onto social media," Plettenberg implored. "We'd love them to give us a call so that we can work with them."

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