Elections and Government Services Administrative Rules of Montana Business Services Notary and Certification Records and Information Management

October 4, 2010

CONTACT: Terri McCoy (406) 465-2564

Secretary Linda McCulloch On Hand As Election Officials Prepare Absentee Ballots For Statewide Distribution; October 4 Opens Absentee Voting for General Election

MONTANA - Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer Linda McCulloch on Monday visited Gallatin and Silverbow counties as election officials prepared to mail the first round of absentee ballots for the General Election on November 2, 2010. Absentee voting opened statewide today (Monday, October 4) for identified absentee voters.

"An increasing number of Montanans are voting by absentee ballot," Secretary McCulloch said. "The absentee turnout for this year's primary election was unprecedented in terms of total votes cast. More than half of the votes were cast using absentee ballots."

Approximately 140,800 absentee ballots were mailed to voters across Montana, reaching nearly 22% of the state's 645,557 registered voters. Any registered voter may vote absentee by filling out an Application for Absentee Ballot at the county election office, or downloading one from the Secretary of State's website at sos.mt.gov/Elections.

The Application must be received at the county election office by noon the day before the election. The voted absentee ballot must be received at the county election office by the close of polls on Election Day.

"It's easy to register and vote in Montana," Secretary McCulloch said. "Not only is absentee voting convenient, easy and secure, folks can now track their ballot from anywhere with an Internet connection."

Voters can track their absentee ballot, lookup their polling place location, and check their voter registration status at My Voter Page, the Secretary of State's newly enhanced online election tool. Logon to sos.mt.gov to get started.

*The number of registered voters in Montana is subject to change. Daily updates are available on the Secretary of State's homepage at sos.mt.gov.