KGVO spoke to a very busy Bradley Seaman, Missoula County Elections Administrator, who said for the first time in many years, there is no same-day voter registration for this primary election.

“On election day today, September 14, the biggest change that voters need to be aware of is that the legislature has removed the ability for a voter to register and cast a ballot on Election Day,” said Seaman. “So if you are not already registered to vote, you are unable to register as a new voter and cast a ballot.”

Seaman said on Primary Election Day, voters can still drop off their ballots until 8:00 p.m.

“We do have ballot drop off locations set up throughout the city, one in each ward,” he said. “So if you still have your ballot, to ensure your vote gets counted, drop by one of our drop off locations. There’s the Election Center (on North Russell Street), Franklin School, Hellgate Elementary School, the Missoula Public Library, the fairgrounds drop off box, and the Missoula Early Learning Center, which is the former Cold Springs School, which has a drop off location there as well.”

Many voters still want to vote in person, even though the primary is a mail-in only election. Seaman provided guidance for those voters.

“If they would like to vote in person, all ballots issued for this election are absentee ballots, so bring that ballot you received in the mail,” he said. “We've got voting stations set up at the Elections Center at 140 North Russell, you can come in, you can cast that ballot at one of the voting stations and deposit it in our drop box. Just like with all mail ballots, it's critical that you have your secrecy envelope and your signature envelope included as well. You'll want to make sure that you sign that signature envelope, put the secrecy envelope in there and place it into one of our drop boxes.”

Seaman said the ballots already received are being counted throughout the day.

“While the polls are open, we're going to be working hard to count up every vote that we've got prepared and ready to go,” he said. “At eight o'clock, we'll run our first initial set of results. At 8:00 p.m. that'll be our initial set of results and any outstanding ballots will get added to those totals until we finish. We'll probably wrap up before midnight on Election Night just depending on those returns. We do need to go through that process to check those signatures, make sure that those voters voted that ballot, go through our 13 step process to make sure that we're tracking and accounting for those correctly and then we'll get them counted and added to those election results.”

Seaman said no results are considered to be official until the actual canvas has been completed.

“Before any election certified, the big thing is that we will confirm all of our results at a public Canvas meeting that's slated for the 22nd,” he said. “We're really encouraging people to come to that meeting because that's where you get to see how these processes are completed, how the election is certified, and to see why we're so confident in the work that our hard working staff does for all the elections in Missoula County.”

Seaman also confirmed that all the election counting procedures will be live-streamed so that anyone can witness the process.

 

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