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Election office to mail billfolds, prepares for June 3 polling day

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LAKE COUNTY – June 3 will mark the first election since Montana’s political lines were redrawn because of Congressional redistricting, and staff at the Lake County Election Office are working to make sure people are minimally confused when heading out to the polls. 

Lake County Election Administrator Kathie Newgard said her office will soon be mailing billfold cards that identify which local precinct and state Senate and House districts the voter is located in. It also lists the local polling place. 

The information will look different for most of Lake County voters because of redistricting which reapportions voting blocs every ten years based on population recorded in the federal Census. 

Senator Janna Taylor was the only holdover politician for state office. The rest of the districts are new and up for grabs. 

In addition, the election office re-named local precincts to include a geographical reference and number that the election office hopes will be less confusing for people than the former system that was completely numeric. 

In the old system a precinct was identified only by a number, as in “Precinct 1.” In the new system, there is a reference to where the voter’s polling place is in conjunction with a number, as in “DAY1” which would indicate that the voter’s polling place is in Dayton. 

The voter billfold cards can be used as identification verification needed to vote. Other types of proof of ID include official government mail or identification and any type of photo ID. A driver’s license, car registration, or utility bills are examples of acceptable identification. 

Newgard reminded voters that regular registration is closed. 

“We’re into late registration,” Newgard said. “Anyone who isn’t currently registered will need to come into the election office to get registered to vote in this election.” 

People can vote absentee at the county election office before the election. Cutoff to request absentee voting is noon on Monday, June 2. 

Newgard said mail-in absentee ballots should be put in the mail a few days before the election. 

“Don’t wait until election day, or we won’t get them,” Newgard said. 

She also said that people often forget to sign the affidavit on the envelope, which leads to the vote not being counted. 

“Make sure you sign it,” Newgard said. 

Absentee ballots can be brought into the election office up until the 8 p.m. poll closing time on election day. 

For any other questions about voting in Lake County, call the election office at (406) 883-7268.

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