Early voting starts Oct. 16 for city elections

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City elections in Columbia Falls, Kalispell and Whitefish will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5, but early voting begins Oct. 16.

Whitefish is the only city conducting a mail-ballot election. Ballots will be mailed to registered voters within Whitefish city limits on Oct. 16. Ballots are due back to the Flathead County Courthouse on Nov. 5.

Whitefish voters will elect three City Council members from a slate of four candidates: Jen Frandsen, Pam Barberis, Life Noell and Andy Feury. None of the current council members whose terms are expiring — Phil Mitchell, Chris Hyatt and Bill Kahle — are seeking additional four-year terms.

Whitefish Municipal Judge Bradley Johnson is up for re-election and is running unopposed.

Absentee ballots are available starting Oct. 16 for the Kalispell and Columbia Falls city elections.

To receive an absentee ballot, a voter must apply through the Flathead County Election Department. Voters may request a ballot for the city election by completing an Application for Absentee Ballot or sign up for the annual absentee list and receive ballots for all elections during the current calendar year.

Application forms are available online at http://flathead.mt.gov/election/voter_information.php or can be obtained at the county Election Department.

People must apply for absentee ballots by noon the day before the election.

In Kalispell, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Flathead County Fairgrounds Trade Center.

Mark Johnson is unopposed in his run for the mayoral seat on the Kalispell City Council. Mayor Tammi Fisher chose not to run for re-election.

Kalispell has a three-way race in Ward 3, where incumbent City Council member Jim Atkinson is being challenged by Jason Mueller and Karlene Osorio-Khor. 

In Ward 1, Sandy Mundahl Carlson is running for the seat currently held by Bob Hafferman. Joseph Apple also filed for the Ward 1 council seat but withdrew too late to get his name off the ballot.

Incumbent Tim Kluesner is running unopposed in Ward 4. Chad Graham is unopposed in Ward 2 because a second candidate, Chad Hall, withdrew from the race for the seat held by Jeff Zauner.

Kalispell Municipal Judge Lori Adams is running unopposed for the position to which she was appointed last December.

Kalispell voters also are being asked whether to repeal or uphold a 2012 City Council decision to pursue an upgrade of Kalispell City Airport.

Columbia Falls voters can cast their ballots from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 5 at Columbia Falls City Hall.

In Columbia Falls, incumbent Mayor Don Barnhart is the only candidate for that position.

Five candidates are running for three other open seats on the Columbia Falls City Council: incumbents Shawn Bates, Dave Petersen and Mike Shepard, as well as Jenny Lovering and Duane Moore.

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