Just like the primary election, this year’s general election in November will be an all-mail election, meaning that no polling places will be open on November 3rd and all registered voters will automatically receive an absentee ballot. Yellowstone County residents are quite familiar with voting by mail and most residents already do so; we should expect few bumps in the road in Montana and especially in Yellowstone County. Still, it is advisable to be well-informed to ensure that your vote is counted, especially if you do not normally vote by mail.
- Oct. 2nd: Early In-Person Voting Begins (Election Office*)
- Oct. 9th: Absentee Ballots Mailed to Voters
- Oct. 26th: Close of Registration at 5:00 pm
- Oct. 27th: Start of Late Voter Registration (In Person Only)
- Oct. 27th: Voters are encouraged to mail back their completed ballots by this date.
- Nov. 2nd: Early In-Person Voting Closes at Noon
- Nov. 3rd: Election Day
- *The Election Office will be at Metra Park – not the Courthouse – from Oct. 2nd through Nov. 3rd. The office will be at the Arena Box Office from Oct. 2nd through Oct. 5th, then in the Montana Pavilion for the remainder of the election.
Register to Vote
To check if you are registered and/or ensure that your information is up to date, you can check your registration on the My Voter Page on the MT Secretary of State website.
In short, anyone needing to register, or update their name, address, or signature, needs only to fill out this form and return it to the election office by 5:00 pm on Oct. 26th. Any voter who has their registration form postmarked by that deadline will automatically receive a ballot. Voters may also sign up to receive an absentee ballot in future elections by checking a box near the bottom of the registration form.
If you register late and receive a ballot later than Oct. 27th, it is best to hand-deliver it rather than mail it back.
Voters may obtain registration cards by any means, including printing them at home or receiving them from a friend. Forms may be returned by mail; the address is listed on the back of the form, although postage is required. Voters can also simply go to the election office without an appointment and fill out a form there or hand-deliver a completed registration card.
Three Ways to Vote
Vote by Mail
Voting by mail will be the easiest and the most familiar way to vote this election. If you are registered to vote, simply wait to receive your ballot in the mail sometime soon after Oct. 9th. Fill out your ballot and make sure to read and follow all instructions as failure to do so can invalidate your ballot. Finally, mail your ballot back to the election office. You will not need additional postage to do so. It would be best to mail your ballot by Oct. 27th (one week before election day) to ensure that your ballot is counted.
To ensure that your ballot is received and counted, you can track your ballot on the My Voter Page.
Hand-Deliver your Ballot
If you do not feel comfortable mailing your ballot, or you have not mailed your ballot by Oct. 27th, the next best thing would be to fill out your absentee ballot and hand-deliver it to the election office at Metra Park. Make sure to follow all the instructions included with your ballot just as you would if you were going to mail the ballot.
Vote in Person, Early
Some folks enjoy the civic ritual of voting in person, while others simply find it more practical, and some simply cannot go without that all-important “I voted” sticker. In any case, voters may still vote in person this year; they simply need to do so early. Starting on Oct. 2nd, Voters may go to the election office – at Metra Park – and vote. Remember however that all registered voters will automatically receive an absentee ballot and so election officials may want to take your blank absentee ballot to ensure that no one is attempting to vote twice. This, of course, will not be an issue if you vote before ballots are mailed on Oct. 9th.
If you were not able to complete your registration by Oct. 26th, the best thing to do is simply go to the election office and register in person, then vote in person.
We hope everyone takes advantage of their ability to vote.