The Flathead County Election Department will mail out about 17,000 absentee ballots on Tuesday, signaling the onset of early voting for the Nov. 6 general election.
In addition to races for president, U.S. Senate, Montana governor and other key state offices, the election features contested local races for two county commissioner seats, district judges and a plethora of state legislator positions.
The number of absentee ballots requested so far represents about 28 percent of the county’s 59,502 registered voters.
Flathead County Elections Deputy Monica Eisenzimer said she expects the number of early ballots to be on par with the 2008 presidential election year, when the county sent out more than 20,000 absentee ballots and 19,000 were returned.
Registered voters may request absentee ballots by going to the election office, which is temporarily located in the Country Fair Kitchen at the Flathead County Fairgrounds at 265 N. Meridian Road in Kalispell.
Voters can get absentee ballots there, take them home and mail them back or return them in person. Voters also may fill out their absentee ballots at the election office. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Voters also may submit written requests to have an absentee ballot mailed to them. Those requests should be sent to the elections office at 800 S. Main St., Room 115, Kalispell, MT 59901.
Absentee ballot request forms may be downloaded from the county website at http://flathead.mt.gov/election or on the Montana Secretary of State’s website at sos.mt.gov/Elections.
A sample ballot is available both on the county and state websites by clicking on the “My Voter Page” button.
Voters who want information about local races can follow the Daily Inter Lake’s extensive coverage at www.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_elections.