Posted: Oct 8, 2012 3:49 PM by MTN News
HELENA - Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, who also serves as the state's chief elections officer, is reminding Montanans that they must register to vote by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9 in order to cast a ballot at the polls or receive an absentee ballot in the mail for the 2012 General Election, which will be held on Nov. 6.
October 9 marks the close of Montana's regular voter registration period. It is also the deadline for counties to mail the first round of absentee ballots to identified absentee voters.
"We're already seeing a record number of absentee ballot requests. It's important for voters to know that they must register to vote by Tuesday in order to receive their absentee ballot in the mail, or cast a ballot at the polls. Campaigns and other groups collecting voter registration applications must also have them turned in by Tuesday," McCulloch said.
Counties are set to mail more than 218,000 absentee ballots to voters on Tuesday, which will reach about 33% of the state's 662,786 registered voters.
That's a significant increase from the same time in 2010, when counties mailed approximately 140,800 absentee ballots, reaching 22% of the registered voters in Montana.
That number rose to 173,039 Montanans, or 47% of registered voters, voting by absentee ballot in the 2010 General Election.
"If you haven't registered to vote, you still have time," Secretary McCulloch said. "In Montana, you can late register and vote at the county election office right up through the close of polls on Election Day."
People who register after the close of regular registration must do so in person at the county election office.
Late registrants are issued an absentee ballot that must be returned to the county election office by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Voters are encouraged to check their registration status using "My Voter Page", which can be accessed online and in the Apple and Droid App markets.
The MVP site also has precinct-specific sample ballots, maps to polling place locations, and an absentee ballot tracking service.
Printable voter registration cards and absentee ballot applications can be found online at the Secretary of State website.