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Primary ballots mailed to absent military, overseas voters

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Regular voter registration deadline in May 9 for primary election


HELENA – Secretary of state and chief elections officer Linda McCulloch on April 22 announced that the first round of absentee ballots are out for Montana’s 2016 primary election held June 7.

County election offices have completed mailing ballots to the state’s absent military and overseas citizen electors. Voters not covered under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act who are signed up to receive an absentee ballot for the primary election, will be mailed their ballot Friday, May 13.

Montana’s primary ballot for Republican voters contains the names of several presidential candidates who suspended their campaigns, but did not formally withdraw from the ballot.

The secretary of state’s Electronic Absentee System provides Montana’s absent military servicemen and women another option to conveniently register to vote and apply for, receive and mark a statewide election ballot. The service is available to qualified members of the armed forces, their families and overseas U.S. citizens who are absent from their Montana voting residence. Ballots marked using the EAS can be returned to the county election office by email, mail or facsimile.

“Absentee voting is the clear choice for many Montanans, and is the only option for our military personnel who are stationed outside of Montana due to their active military duty,” McCulloch said. “More than 68 percent of folks voted by absentee ballot in the 2014 primary, with even higher turnout in some of our largest counties. Yellowstone County took the lead with a record 97 percent absentee turnout.”

Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot. Applications are available at the county election offices and on the secretary of state’s website. Voters on the absentee list must complete and return a biennial address confirmation form in order to automatically receive a ballot for every election in which they’re eligible to vote.

The address confirmation forms were mailed in January and it’s not too late to respond with your address confirmation or to request to be on the absentee list – you can do so until noon the day before Election Day. However, if you wait until close to the deadline, you’ll want to check mail delivery times very carefully, or vote your ballot in-person at the election office.

The regular voter registration deadline for Montana’s primary election is Monday, May 9. Late registration begins Tuesday, May 10 and runs through 8 p.m. on Election Day. Late registration must be done in person at the county election office or at the location designated by the county election administrator.

Registered voters can find all their voting information – including a precinct-specific sample ballot – at and on select smartphones with the “My Voter Page” application.

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