The larger Western Montana counties are seeing a steady return of absentee ballots for next week's special congressional election with more than half of the votes already back in the courthouses.
Voters who opted for absentee ballots are helping to decide the outcome of the special election between Republican Greg Gianforte, Democrat Rob Quist and Libertarian Mark Wicks to fill Montana's lone U.S. House of Representatives seat.
Elections officials were reporting more than 62% of Flathead County voters have already returned their ballots with just over 28,000 of the county's 68,000 voting absentee.
Ballot returns in Missoula County have topped 54%, but Elections Administrator Rebecca Conners say staffers are bracing for a flood of last minute ballots next week.
Ravalli County's return of absentees is also strong, with 69% already back at the elections office in Hamilton.
The absentee ballots will need to be in the mail by Wednesday, May 24 or dropped off on Election Day. Voters who aren't voting absentee will be able to use traditional polling places on Thursday. May 25.
The special election was called by Gov. Steve Bullock after Whitefish Republican Ryan Zinke was named U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary by President Donald Trump.
Click here to learn more about the voting process as well as where to cast your ballot.