Missoula County Elections Administrator Answers Last Minute Questions
Election Day is right around the corner and Missoula County Elections Administrator Bradley Seaman provided KGVO with some last minute updates. He was asked if anyone can change their vote after they have already voted.
“By law, an official ballot is voted when the ballot is marked received at the place of deposit,” Seaman said. “As soon as we have accepted that ballot and verified that signature, that’s when it gets marked received in our system. It takes us about a day to go through and mark them as received. Once it has been received, we can’t change the ballot. We can’t void that and issue a new ballot. Once it has been received and marked as accepted, there is not ability to change that vote.”
Many Montana voters were told to vote as soon as possible this year because of an all-mail election, but that can be difficult this day and age because new information is constantly surfacing. According to Seaman, deciding when to vote is all about personal preference.
“If there is nothing that is going to sway them no matter what, we encourage them to vote that ballot and make sure it gets counted,” Seaman said. “For voters that need time to make sure they are making the right decision, we want to encourage them to be able to take that time and that is why we staff so many drop off locations throughout the county on Election Day as well. It is a really hard area to hit between making that informed decision and then something coming up in the election that may change that.”
On Election Day, Seaman said staff at the Postal Service will collect as many ballots as they can.
“They are going to meet us back at the Post Office at 8:00 p.m. so that they can be with an election official so that those ballots can be counted,” Seaman said. “For a voter who may need to transport ballots back and forth on Election Day, we would need to receive it by 8:00 p.m. in order for it to be counted. The only exception to that is if a voter is currently in line at 8:00 p.m. to deposit their ballot or in line at the Election Center. We will be able to accept those ballots for voters who have been in line by 8:00 p.m. as well.”
Seaman wants voters to make an informed decision, to track their ballots, to vote as soon as they can, and to feel confident in the process. Again you can check on the status of your ballot at MyVoterPageMT.com.