2020 Elections

Montana Primary Election Updates

Jun 3, 2020
2020 Montana Elections image
Yellowstone Public Radio

06/03/20, 5:30 p.m.

Montanans cast a record number of votes for Tuesday's primary election, conducted by an all mail-in ballot. The most recent available data show more than 389,000 ballots have been returned. That blows past the 293,000 votes cast in the 2016 primary election, the last time major executive offices were up for grabs.

Listen to the audio above as MTPR's Corin Cates-Carney and YPR's Nicky Ouellet recap the statewide races.

Official seal for the Montana Public Service Commission
Montana Public Service Commission / Montana Public Service Commission

Montana primary voters held onto an incumbent and advanced new candidates in races for the board that regulates electric utilities in the state.

The closest race for the Montana Public Service Commission was for District 2 in southeast Montana, where incumbent Republican Tony O’Donnell of Billings fought for a second term against former PSC commissioner Kirk Bushman and State Rep. Daniel Zolnikov.

An "I Voted" sticker.
Montana Secretary of State

A record number of Montanans have submitted ballots for the June 2 primary election. Ballots can be dropped off at county election headquarters and other drop off sites until 8 P.M. today.

Two different versions of Montana conservatism have been butting heads for years in the statehouse. And they’ll be pitted against each other again in Tuesday's primary election as GOP voters choose them between factions of the Republican party – business-minded Republicans willing to work across the aisle and party hardliners who legislate with strict ideology.

There's still time to get your ballot in before Tuesday's primary, but you'll need to deliver it in person. Voter turnout could be heading to a new record for a primary. New ads in the Senate and gubernatorial races follow political playbooks. Democrats seek to increase Native American participation. And some key primary races could set the future direction of the state Republican Party.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

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

The Montana Supreme Court today overruled a lower court order and restored the state’s Jun. 2 mail-in ballot receipt deadline for the upcoming primary.

The high court’s order means voters must get their mail-in ballots to their local election office or other drop off locations by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

The Worm: Special 2020 Primary Preview

May 22, 2020

This is a special 2020 primary election preview. Reporters from Yellowstone Public Radio and Montana Public Radio spoke to nearly every candidate for federal and statewide office in Montana's June 2 primary election. Join us as we break down the races, hear from candidates and add context.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s term-limited Attorney General, Tim Fox, is seeking the Republican party’s gubernatorial nomination. Two Democrats and two Republicans are now jockeying for Fox’s open seat.

Edward O’Brien has this preview of the two contested primary races for the state’s next chief legal officer.

The U.S. Capitol building
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio


A November contest for the U.S. Senate between Republican Steve Daines and Democrat Steve Bullock is expected by political observers to draw tens of millions of dollars in outside spending and national attention.

But first the Senate incumbent and sitting governor each face long-shot challengers in the June 2 primary.

The U.S. capitol building
Public Domain


With no incumbent seeking reelection, Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is once again up for grabs. Republicans are trying to prevent a Democrat from flipping the seat blue for the first time in more than 20 years.

Two Democrats, six Republicans and a Green Party candidate are trying to succeed current Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte, who is running for governor.

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