On Tuesday, Helena will elect a new School Board and election officials said there are some things people should be aware of when voting.
Ballots can only be mailed in or dropped off at the Lewis and Clark County Elections Office and must be received by 8 p.m. on May 7. Postmarked ballots received after the deadline will not count.
A new law, Montana LR-129, requires any person delivering someone else’s ballot to fill out a short form as a ballot collector.
“If you collect somebody else’s ballot, even if it’s just to bring it into the Elections office, you’re considered a ballot collector,” explained Audrey McCue, Lewis and Clark County Elections Supervisor.
The May Butler Center will not be a drop-off location for ballots this year since it requires a full-time staffed person to monitor the ballot box.
“When you drop off their ballot, what you have to do is provide your name, the name of the persons whose ballots you’re dropping off, and how you know that person,” said McCue. “You are also limited to dropping off six ballots for the election not including your own.”
Family members, caregivers, household members and acquaintances can all be a ballot collector for a person.
The paperwork takes less than a minute to fill out and Lewis and Clark Election has already had hundreds of people fill out the form.
There are 10 registered candidates for the Helena School Board election, eight of which are write-in candidates.
“The biggest thing to know about any write-in candidates is make sure to fill in the ‘write-in’ oval and you need to spell the name as it appears on their candidate filing form,” said McCue.
Libby Goldes and John H. McEwen are listed on the ballot. Registered write-in candidates are Ralph A Moody, Michael Spreadbury, Douglas Hansen, Angela Ewing-Hyyppa, Ella Currier, Phoebe Williams, Justin Stolp and Siobhan Hathhorn.
A panel of 3 people per write-in candidate, a total of 24 people, will verify each vote cast for that candidate.
If anyone is concerned about their ballot, they are encouraged to contact the Elections Office for clarification.
-Reported by John Riley/MTN News