The Missoula County Elections Office will be putting over 48,000 absentee ballots in the mail on Friday, October 12 for the November 6 general election.

Elections Administrator Dayna Causby said the number of absentee ballots sent out is increasing every year.

“The number of absentee ballots being sent out is increasing as well as the number of ballots being returned, particularly for Missoula County,” said Causby. “We’re up to about 60 percent of the voting population who utilize a mail-in ballot for any of the elections. Even though there are polling places set up for any general election, I think voters really appreciate the convenience of voting absentee, because they have a large amount of time to do research about the candidates and the issues they’ll be voting for.”

One point that Causby made was to confirm that it is legal for someone other than the registered voter to pick up and deliver the ballot.

“Sure, that is legal,” she said. “But, if the voter doesn’t feel comfortable with that, you don’t have to offer your ballot to anyone. If you don’t feel confident in handing your ballot to anyone, then don’t do it. Put some postage on it or deliver it to the election center at the fairgrounds, or bring it here to the courthouse and we also have a drop box outside the courthouse for after hours.”

Registered voters who have not previously requested an absentee ballot can do so by completing the Application for Absentee Ballot, which is available online or at the Elections Office, which will be located in Building 15 at the Missoula County Fairgrounds as of Monday, Sept. 17. The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the general election is noon on Monday, Nov. 5.

Voters planning to cast their ballots on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, can find their polling place on the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.