State continues to break absentee ballot records

Absentee ballots continue to break records this election cycle.

Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch says election offices have sent out more than 270-thousand absentee ballots this year.

“And that’s out of 670-thousand voters,” she said. “So it’s well over a third of the voters have received their ballot by absentee ballot.”

270-thousand sets a new record for absentees, the old record was 221-thousand absentees in the 2008 general election. Also, in the 2012 Primary Election, 60 percent of the people who did vote voted by absentee. McCulloch says it seems to be a growing trend.

“I think people can sit at home around the kitchen table, they can read the information from the candidates, they can read the voter information pamphlet, and they can vote at their leisure,” she said.

As of late last week about 70-thousand of the 270-thousand ballots had been returned for this general election. McCulloch says they are coming in quickly.

“Is there something the voting public loses through that process? Not waiting around to hear the final arguments of candidates and things like that?” I asked her.

“I don’t think so,” she replid. “I think that people have a chance to peruse all the information, they have a chance to vote early. So I think they’re grasping a hold of it.”

A voted absentee ballot must be received at your county election office by the close of polls on election day, at 8 PM.

Click here for the Secretary of State’s website, where you can find the location of your polling place.

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