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

May 7, 2012

Contact: Terri McCoy, 406-444-2807

Absentee Voting Opens for Montana’s 2012 Primary Election;
Counties Mail Record Number of Ballots to State’s Identified Absentee Voters

HELENA – Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer Linda McCulloch on Monday visited the Lewis and Clark County election office to vote an absentee ballot for the 2012 Primary election. Absentee voting opened statewide today with counties mailing nearly 170,000 ballots to identified absentee voters.

Counties mail nearly 170,000 ballots to identified absentee voters.

“It’s a record for the number of absentee ballots being mailed in a Primary,” Secretary McCulloch said. “Voting by absentee ballot is convenient, and as secure as voting at the polling place. It’s no surprise that an increasing number of Montanans are choosing to vote this way.”

The 169,286 absentee ballots being mailed to voters across Montana will reach more than 26% of the state’s 638,778 registered voters. Any registered voter may still request an absentee ballot by turning in an application to the county election office before noon, on June 4, the day before the election. Applications are available on the Secretary of State’s website at sos.mt.gov.

“It’s important to vote in the way that is right for you,” Secretary McCulloch said. “Whether you vote by absentee ballot or head to the polls on Election Day, you can be confident that your vote counts. Montana has some of the best run and most secure elections in the nation.”

Monday, May 7 marks the close of regular voter registration. Those who are not registered to vote by 5:00 p.m. may still register in person at the county election office during the late registration period. Late registration is available from 8:00 a.m. on May 8 through 8:00 p.m. on June 5.

Voters on the Annual Absentee List automatically receive an absentee ballot for every election in which they are eligible to vote. To remain on the list, voters must complete and return the Annual Address Confirmation Card, which counties mail out in January of each year.

Montanans can check their voter registration status, and see if they are on the Annual Absentee List using the Secretary of State’s online elections tool, “My Voter Page.” Registered voters can also view a precinct-specific sample ballot for the June 5 Primary, find the location of their polling place, and track the status of their absentee ballot once one has been issued.

“If you love the convenience of voting by absentee ballot, but miss getting an “I Voted” sticker, we have you covered,” Secretary McCulloch said. “You can now access a digital “I Voted” sticker from our homepage, and share it on Facebook, Twitter or your website.”

The digital “I Voted” sticker is available at sos.mt.gov.