MISSOULA — Missoula elections officials are reminding people to remember to cast their ballots.
The Missoula County Elections Office is encouraging voters to complete late registration and return their ballot or vote in person as soon as possible to ensure their ballots are received before 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Due to recent changes in state law, residents can no longer register to vote as a new registrant or update their registration from one county to another on Election Day. Late registration ends at noon Monday, Nov. 1. All voters in line by noon will be allowed to update their registration.
Since this election will be conducted by mail, polling places will not be open on Election Day. The USPS recommends voters mail their ballot no later than seven days before Election Day, which is Tuesday, Oct. 26.
If voters do not mail their ballot by then, they are asked to hand-deliver their ballot to the Elections Center at 140 N. Russell St. or one of the following Election Day-only ballot drop-offs:
City Election Day only ballot drop-offs:
- Ward 1 – Missoula County Library, 455 E. Main St.
- Ward 2 – Hellgate Elementary School Administration Office, 2385 Flynn Lane • Ward 3 – Missoula County Elections Center, 140 N. Russell St.
- Ward 4 – Missoula County Fairgrounds, 1101 South Ave. W.
- Ward 5 – Missoula Early Learning Center (former Cold Springs School), 2625 Briggs St. • Ward 6 – Franklin Elementary School, 1910 S. 11th St. W.
County Election Day only ballot drop-offs:
- Bonner Elementary School, 9045 Hwy. 200
- Frenchtown Fire Station, 16875 Marion St.
- Lolo Elementary School, 11395 Hwy. 93 S.
- Seeley Lake Elementary School, 200 School Lane
Ballots can be dropped off by any trusted person as long as the registered voter feels comfortable and confident in whom they give their ballot to. The person delivering the ballot will not be required to show identification or sign documentation. Since this is a local election, voters can call the Elections Office at (406)258-4751 to confirm their ballot has been accepted.
The Elections Office invites members of the public and media to once again tour the processes that take place leading up to and after Election Day that confirm the accuracy and integrity of elections.
The following will take place in the Elections Center:
- 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26: Election equipment testing. Elections staff will test the tabulators used to count ballots to ensure they are working properly ahead of Election Day. They will also test the ADA-compliant ExpressVote ballot marking devices to guarantee they are operating correctly for drop-off locations on Election Day.
- 12 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28: Early ballot prep and ballot processing. Attendees will observe staff and volunteers following the multi-step process used to verify signatures, process ballots and confirm that each ballot cast is counted.
- 12 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1: Counting center process and ballot tabulation. Attendees will observe staff conducting the final test of equipment, as well as the counting and retention process for voted ballots.
- 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2: Election Day. All the election processes are open to the public and observers are welcome at any time.
- 2:45 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8: Provisional ballot count. Attendees will observe staff counting any accepted provisional ballots for the election.
- 3:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15: Election canvass. State law requires the Elections Office and three county elected officials verify the election with a canvass. The canvass confirms the number of ballots voted are the number of ballots counted and that no ballots are missing or counted more than once. Media and public are invited to observe the canvass with the Missoula County commissioners and elections staff.
The following extended hours, key dates and election resources are provided to help all Missoula City and County residents vote in the general election:
Elections Center Extended Hours:
- Monday through Wednesday, Oct. 25-27: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Thursday and Friday, Oct. 28-29: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 30: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Monday, Nov. 1: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. a drive-thru ballot drop off will be available at the Elections Center only
- Tuesday, Nov. 2: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. a drive-thru ballot drop off will be available at the Elections Center and the locations listed above
Key Dates and Resources:
- Tuesday, Oct. 26: The USPS recommends mailing your ballot no later than seven days before Election Day, which is Tuesday, Oct. 26. If it is later than Oct. 26, please hand deliver your ballot to the Elections Center or at an Election Day-only ballot drop-off location.
- 12 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1: Late registration closes. Residents will not be able register to vote and there will be limited opportunities to update their registration after this point.
- Tuesday, Nov. 2: Election Day. Ballots are due back to the Elections Office by 8 p.m. Late ballots will not be accepted, and postmarks are not sufficient.
- MissoulaVotes.com: Missoula County Elections Office website, a beneficial resource for election questions, the candidate filings list and informational documents.
- Find My Ward, missoula.co/findmyward: Residents can see whether their address is in the City limits, find the nearest Election Day drop-off location and view what races will appear on their ballot based on their address.
- My Voter Page, https://app.mt.gov/voterinfo: Residents can download a registration form and verify voter registration status, address and district.
- Additional questions: Voters can contact the Elections Office by calling 406-258-4751 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with additional questions and to verify their ballot has been received.
- Common voter questions are online.
- Voters can also learn how Missoula County ensures election integrity here.