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Absentee ballot mailing deadline passes as Election Day nears

A Montana primary election ballot in its return envelope
Nicky Ouellet
Yellowstone Public Radio

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2 — and that means an important absentee ballot deadline is at hand. If you miss the deadline, you can still get your ballot in on time.

The U.S. Postal Service recommends voters get their absentee ballot in the mail at least one week before an election. Completed ballots must arrive at the local election office by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Yellowstone County Election Administrator Bret Rutherford says voters can check to be sure their ballot will be counted.

"Just give our office a call and we can pull your file up. And we can look in your file and see if your ballot has been returned and accepted," he says.

If you haven’t mailed your ballot yet, Rutherford says voters can also drop their ballot off at their local election office.

If the ballot has not been received a voter can get a replacement up to and on Election Day.

"There’s a very simple form that one would fill out and we would say it was lost in the mail or something of that nature," Rutherford says. "The old ballot is flagged and voided so even if it does show up in time it’s not going to get counted. Only one vote per person."

While in the past voters could register on Election Day, late voter registration now closes at noon the day before the election.

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.