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Write-in candidate provides unique voting opportunity for Flathead County Commissioner's seat

Write in Candidate Screen Shot 2022-10-22 at 2.57.54 PM.png
Posted at 3:13 PM, Oct 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-24 09:43:29-04

KALISPELL - Voting can be confusing when it comes to all the oddly worded ballot initiatives and so many candidates to research.

Voters should be aware that there is a write-in candidate option for Flathead County Commissioner.

There is only one person to vote for in many of the races and that typically means that is the person you must vote for, but this year, you have the option to write-in another candidate — but only for the county commissioner's seat.

“In Flathead County, we didn't have any Democrats or Independents run for county commissioner. You might even notice that when you open your ballot, there's lots of bubbles just with just one name. And that means that only one party had a candidate in the primaries. When you look at your ballot, it'll just have a person's name and then a blank spot and that's you can write in an official write-in candidate's name,” explained Forward Montana Flathead field manager Mandy Gerth.

However, Gerth notes people cannot just write any name on the ballot. “There's a bunch of rules about if you want to run as an official writing candidate. So good question. If you want to vote for Big Bird you can, but it won't count."

People who would like to vote for the write-in candidate must completely fill in the bubble next to the blank line.

“And then they write the name on that line for who they want to vote for. And they have to write it in correctly, according to the way the person filed,” Flathead County Elections Office Manager Monica Eisenzimer told MTN News.

Eisenzimer added that this write-in option generally only happens in local elections, "it's not very common, but every now and then, it happens."

Voters who would like to turn in ballots prior to Election Day can mail them in or drop them off at the Flathead County Elections Office.

There will also be ballot drop boxes across the county on Election Day which is on Tuesday, Nov. 8.