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Montana voter turnout at 72 percent

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Possible recount for Superintendent of Public Instruction

HELENA – Voter turnout for the 2012 General Election is an estimated 72 percent in Montana, which is up from 56 percent in the 2010 General Election and comparable to the last two presidential elections in Montana (74 percent in 2008, 71 percent in 2004).

Counties estimate a record 308,148 absentee ballots were issued, and a record 262,045 were received. That beats the previous records set in the 2008 General Election, with 221,045 absentee ballots issued and 212,012 received.

An estimated 19,928 voters used Montana’s late voter registration period to register and vote in the election, with about 7,975 registering and voting on Election Day. That’s comparable to the 2008 General Election, when 7,419 Montanans registered and voted on Election Day.

Unofficial election results from the Montana Secretary of State’s office reveal a potential recount for the Superintendent of Public Instruction. That race falls below 1/2 of 1 percent margin of difference that allows the defeated candidate to request a recount by petitioning the Secretary of State.

Since the race in question is a statewide race, the petition must be received from the defeated candidate within five days of the official state canvass – which is scheduled to take place on Nov. 27.

According to Montana law, with a margin of difference exceeding 1/4 of 1 percent, the defeated candidate will have to post a bond in accordance with county estimates to cover the cost of the recount. Counties are in the process of compiling a cost estimate.

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