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

November 14, 2012
CONTACT: Terri McCoy, (406) 444-2807


HELENA, MT – Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer Linda McCulloch has announced the release of unofficial election results for the 2012 General Election at sos.mt.gov. The unofficial results include regular voted ballots and about 5,000 outstanding provisional and federal write-in absentee ballots, which counties began tabulating at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13.

While all ballots have been tabulated, election results remain unofficial until after the county and state canvasses are complete. View 2012 General Election Calendar.

“Thank you voters, candidates, and election workers for contributing to another successful election in Montana,” Secretary McCulloch said. “Montana saw strong voter turnout and a record number of absentee ballots issued and received. Be sure to thank your County Election Administrator and staff for their hard work and dedication to preserving the integrity of each and every election! We had a good year, and I look forward to the next election cycle.”

Voter turnout for the 2012 General Election is an estimated 72%, which is up from 56% in the 2010 General Election and comparable to the last two presidential elections in Montana (74% in 2008, 71% in 2004).

Counties estimate a record 308,148 absentee ballots were issued, and a record 262,045 were received. That beats the previous records which were set in the 2008 General Election with 221,045 absentee ballots issued and 212,012 received.

An estimated 19,928 voters used Montana’s late voter registration period to register and vote in the election, with about 7,975 registering and voting on Election Day. That’s comparable to the 2008 General Election, when 7,419 Montanans registered and voted on Election Day.

“We’re right where we thought we would be for a presidential election year,” Secretary McCulloch said. “We’ll finalize these statistics following the canvasses, which are still a few weeks out.”

Potential Recount
The unofficial election results reveal one potential recount race. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction race falls below the ½ of 1% margin of difference that allows the defeated candidate to request a recount by petitioning the Secretary of State (MCA 13-16-201).

Since the race in question is a statewide race, the petition must be received from the defeated candidate within 5 days of the official state canvass - which is scheduled to take place on November 27.

According to Montana law, with a margin of difference exceeding ¼ of 1%, the defeated candidate will have to post a bond in accordance with county estimates to cover the cost of the recount (MCA 13-16-211). Counties are in the process of compiling a cost estimate.

The public can view unofficial 2012 General Election results by county and precinct level on the Secretary of State’s website at sos.mt.gov.