Residents of the three wards involved in the Missoula City Council primary race have their last chance to vote Tuesday. But as the 8 p.m. deadline approaches, voters must take care to ensure their vote is counted.
The three affected districts, Wards 1, 3 and 4, each have three candidates running in the primary. Residents unsure of which ward they are in can visit the Missoula County Elections Office website at missoulavotes.com.
Earlier this summer, the City Council voted to hold primary races in the three wards with more than two candidates, creating head-to-head matchups in all wards for the general election in November. Typically, local races like this would be a mail-only election, but a missed filing deadline with the state forced the Missoula County Elections Office to hold an in-person primary.
As of Monday morning, turnout from mail-in ballots was at 27%, with Ward 4 leading the pack at 35%.
Missoula County elections administrator Dayna Causby has been working from the temporary Elections Office headquarters at the Fairgrounds, but said voters who are registered to vote in-person should go to their local polling places unless there is an issue they need to address.
“This isn’t a polling place, it's for solving problems,” Causby said. “So if you need to update your address because you moved, or you lost your mail ballot, this is where you come to resolve those issues.”
On Tuesday, in-person voters can find their polling places at:
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• Ward 1: Rattlesnake Elementary, 1220 Pineview Dr.
• Ward 3: Missoula Senior Center, 705 S. Higgins Ave.
• Ward 4: Lewis and Clark Elementary, 2901 Park St.
Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. If a resident of one of the three wards is not yet registered to vote, but wants to vote in the primary, they can register to vote and cast a ballot up until the 8 p.m. deadline at the Fairgrounds, Causby said.
Voters who did opt to vote by mail can contact the Elections Office to check to see if their ballot was received. If records show it was not received yet, voters can come to the Fairgrounds office on Tuesday to void the ballot they mailed and fill out a new one.
No matter which of the three wards one is registered in, voters who choose to drop off the ballot mailed to them can do so at any of the three polling places or the Fairgrounds drive-through ballot drop, Causby said.