Your Comments Wanted on Potential Election Polling Place Changes
KGVO News spoke to Missoula County Elections Administrator Bradley Seaman, first about the upcoming municipal elections.
Mayoral and City Council Ballots Will go out on Wednesday, August 23
“If you live within the city of Missoula, you should be getting a ballot and we're going to mail those out on Wednesday the 23rd,” began Seaman. “You should start seeing those as early as the 24th. That election date is September 12. If you don't receive a ballot and you live inside the city, please reach out to our office, and we'll work to make sure that we get you a ballot for that election.”
Seaman laid out the specifics of the closest upcoming election for Mayor and one City Council seat.
“This will be for the mayor, and then in the primary voters in Ward Five will also get to vote on the primary election for city council,” he said. “The top two vote-getters will go on to November. On the November ballot, we'll have two people for each race that is on the ballot. But in this race, it will be a vote for two. I don't live in Ward Five, so I'll have just the mayor's race on my ballot. There are five candidates and I'll pick the two candidates that I'd like to see in November.”
Seaman Provided details on Polling Places and Precincts
Regarding the proposed changes in polling places and precincts, Seaman provided these details.
“After the census, the state goes through a process of setting up new House and Senate districts,” he said. “After that process is completed, we then set up our precincts, which is a territorial unit used in a federal election. These are the basis for your ballot style. In other words, this is what's going to be on your ballot in the federal election. It also impacts the rotation of candidates. Political parties use this to set up precinct committee men and women. And then the other area where we use this and where voters see this the most is that each of the precincts get assigned to a polling location for voting in the upcoming federal election year.”
Seaman said over 80 Percent of Missoulians Vote by Mail
Seaman said the mail-in ballot elections clearly reflect the way Missoula County residents want to vote.
“What we've noticed is over the last 10 years, we've had a change to the way people vote and the way they utilize polling locations, and we've seen a very heavy drop in the number of people who use polling locations,” he said. So we wanted to make sure that the service we're providing next year is adequate with the service that voters would like to see and are using. We'll have a meeting in here in the election center next week on (August) 24th where we'll go through and we will help present this information and make sure people are familiar with how to comment on the changes, and then we'll present them to the Commission for final adoption.”
Visit Missoula County Voice to find out more about the proposed changes in district and precinct boundaries.