Missoula County Coverage

Mar 4, 2013 8:15 PM by Dan Cimmino - KPAX News

Missoula County planning ways to speed up voting

MISSOULA - The 2012 election featured everything from close races, high turnout, and plenty of people getting registered at the last minute late that Tuesday night.

The long lines prompted Missoula County election officials to recently meet and talk about ways to speed up the registration process.

A highly contested senate and presidential race contributed to bringing in far more voters than expected.

Officials say with 20,000 people headed to the Missoula polls on Election Day and an additional 1,100 needed to get registered, the confusion and long lines were unavoidable.

Vickie Zeier, Missoula County clerk and recorder, said she thinks they should educate the public on getting there earlier, because lines on Election Day are inevitable.

"The process is a slow process and on Election Day and we have more people, it just becomes an even slower process."

The Election Advisory Committee also told county officials about the upcoming legislative redistricting, as new precincts will be adopted by March 29.

"Redistricting is a big change for voters because the house district boundaries change and that could impact their precincts and where they go to vote," Zeier said. "And it's something we have to do every 10 years after the Census. The legislature passes the new house district boundaries and from there then what we have to do is create precincts within the house district."

A public hearing will be held March 27 to review the redistricting as Vickie Zeier estimates it'll effect between 1000 to 2000 people within Missoula County.

A state administration hearing will be held this Friday, March 8, in regards to House Bill 30, which would restrict voter registration on Election Day.

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