MISSOULA – Montana’s primary election takes place on Tuesday, June 5th and local officials aim to make it easier than ever to cast your ballot.
The Missoula County Elections Office is opening up their drive-thru ballot drop-offs on Thursday at 10 a.m. Service will also be available on Friday and Monday at the Missoula County Fairgrounds. The hours each day are 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Missoula County Elections Administrator Dayna Causby says voters will be able to enter the Fairgrounds off of South Avenue, drop off their primary ballots and then will exit to the east, toward Sentinel High School, without getting out of their cars.
“We want to give Missoula County voters plenty of options to get their primary ballots turned in in time,” Causby said, “and this is an easy, convenient, secure way to deliver ballots.”
More than 47,000 ballots were mailed to Missoula County voters in mid-May and they are due back no later than 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5th.
Causby said voters may also return their ballots to the Elections Center at the Fairgrounds, either during business hours or via the 24-hour ballot drop-off on the east end of the Elections Center at the Fairgrounds.
“And voters are always welcome to mail their ballots,” Causby said, although they should use a couple stamps and allow plenty of time in order to arrive by June 5th.
In-person voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5th at polling places throughout the county.
Additionally, voters who normally cast ballots at Hellgate Elementary School and Clinton School will need to be aware that new locations have been set up for the primary.
The Hellgate Elementary School polling place will be moved to the Missoula Technology and Development Center at 5785 West Broadway — about 1½ miles west of the Missoula International Airport.
The Clinton School polling place will be moved to the Clinton Community Church which is located at 9653 Clown Lane in Clinton. The church is accessible via exit 120 off of Interstate 90.
“We know the change will inconvenience some voters and we certainly encourage those folks to take advantage of the vote by mail option,” Causby said. To request a mail ballot, Causby said voters can visit www.missoulavotes.com and click on “Absentee Ballot Application.” The application can be mailed or dropped off in person.
“Another option is, come to the Elections Center at the Fairgrounds in person and we can issue a ballot on the spot,” she said. “There’s plenty of parking and staff members are ready to help. It’s quick and easy.”
The Elections Center at the Fairgrounds is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday, June 2nd. It will close at noon on Monday, June 4 and then reopen for Election Day.
Voters can check the status of their ballot and confirm their polling place location – and get directions – via the My Voter Page.