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Live blog: 2022 Montana election updates

Published November 8, 2022 at 6:37 AM MST
Graphic: 2022 Montana elections

Find live election results here when the polls close at 8 p.m.

Get Election Day updates from across Montana and hear what's on voters’ minds as they cast their 2022 midterm election ballots.

We're closing this blog, but don't go too far

Posted November 9, 2022 at 6:01 PM MST

We're going to stop bringing you updates on this page today, but our reporting on the 2022 elections is far from over.

Stay in the loop by listening to the MTPR News podcast, signing up for our email newsletter and following uson Twitter: @mtpublicradio.

Rice holds on to Supreme Court seat

Posted November 9, 2022 at 10:21 AM MST

Montana’s longest serving member of the state Supreme Court, Justice Jim Rice, has won reelection to the bench, according to a race call from the Associated Press. The AP called the race around 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Montanans overwhelmingly backed Rice over Billings attorney Bill D’Alton for the seat with the incumbent receiving more than 75 percent of the vote when the race was called.

Rice was first seated on the state high court in 2001, appointed by former Republican Gov. Judy Martz.

The seven justices of the Montana Supreme Court are nonpartisan elected positions to eight-year terms.

Brown concedes to Gustafson in contentious Supreme Court race

Posted November 9, 2022 at 8:45 AM MST
James Brown and Ingrid Gustafson
James Brown and Ingrid Gustafson

Republican utility regulator James Brown has conceded a race for the Montana Supreme Court to incumbent justice Ingrid Gustafson. According to election results from the Associated Press, Gustafson held a nearly 10 percentage point lead early Wednesday morning. The AP has not yet called the race.

The highly politicized race became the most expensive in Montana history for the state Supreme Court.

Full story

Montanans approve constitutional protections on security of electronic communications

Posted November 9, 2022 at 6:54 AM MST

Montanans have voted overwhelmingly to change the state’s Constitution, approving C-48, according to a race call from the Associated Press.

The amendment adds “electronic data and communications” to the list of things protected by the state Constitution from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement.

The amendment received bipartisan support in the 2021 Legislature, which sent the issue to the ballot. The Montana Association of Chiefs of Police had raised tentative opposition to the amendment saying it could leave police open to lawsuits and make it harder to investigate internet crimes.

Rosendale wins reelection in Montana U.S. House race

Posted November 9, 2022 at 6:47 AM MST
Rep. Matt Rosendale
Corin Cates-Carny
Montana Public Radio

Montana Republican Matt Rosendale won a second term in the U.S. House on Tuesday as he fended off a pair of challengers in the race for a newly drawn district representing the eastern portion of the state.

Read the full story

Don't expect final results tonight

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:15 PM MST

With vote counts delayed in Missoula and Gallatin counties, chances are good we won't know the winners in many races tonight, especially the close races. This is normal.

'It's a bit of a madhouse in here. It's glorious.'

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:33 PM MST

As temperatures dropped close to 10 degrees voters were able to wait in a line inside the county courthouse in Bozeman late this afternoon as they registered to vote or get a replacement ballot.

Brittney Billings explains what the process was like for her to vote today.

"After a two-and-a-half hour wait in line, I was able to sit down and register and that process went pretty quick. And the voting itself was pretty quick because they give you a ballot right after you register. So, other than the incredibly long line to wait to vote, it was pretty quick after that."

Tyler Walston said, "It's a bit of a madhouse in here, it's glorious. It's what democracy should look like, bringing everyone in the community together."

First time voter, Evie Sanchez explains how she feels after her first time voting.

"I know it's just one little drop in a big ocean, but it's cool to know that like I have an impact and a voice that's important; and exciting too for young people to be able to make an impact."

'Offramp to bizarre town'

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:58 PM MST

In Whitefish, voters headed to the polls with many issues on their minds, from marijuana taxes to abortion.

This afternoon, a rush of voters streamed in and out of the small polling center in downtown Whitefish. Kamiah Guffey had particular issues that she thought about as she voted — like a local proposition to tax medical marijuana and the western district U.S. House race.

"Really not about the 3% increase on marijuana and trying to get Zinke out of there.”

Mathew Kireilis said he was there to make his vote count in what he hoped was a “honest election.” But Kireilis said election security wasn’t the only thing on his mind.

“Oh man, inflation, money, border, crime, drugs. Where do you start? ”

Kireilis added he was there to vote in favor of ballot referendum 131, which requires medical care for any infant born alive, including after an attempted abortion.

Whitefish physician, Randolph Mahoney, said the measure was personal for him.

“I think somebody took the offramp to bizarre town.”

He said the government shouldn’t have a role in making personal medical choices.

Abortion, marijuana and Biden: Deer Lodge voters talk priorities

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:49 PM MST

Voters in Deer Lodge today spoke about issues that are top of mind this election cycle. Voters there will also decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana sales in Deer Lodge or not.

Lani Gilman explains why she voted to legalize marijuana sales in Deer Lodge.

“We’re one of the only counties that doesn’t have a dispensary, so we’re hoping that we can get that voted in so we don’t have to take our business elsewhere to Butte, or Anaconda, or Drummond even. Plus having to drive, it’s snowing right now, so it just makes sense to me to have one here."

Dennis Johnson said, "Just the policies that the Biden administration has done is just out of control. Everything he’s done is against us. Powerful elites up in the northeast, he thinks the whole country looks like that and it doesn’t. What’s important to them isn’t important to us in Montana.”

Christina Holmes explains the issue on the top of his mind as he votes this election.

“I usually am a Libertarian, but I went Democrat this time. I believe that the abortion rights that everybody has their own right to choose their own path.”

Weather didn't keep these Butte voters from the polls

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:48 PM MST

Cold weather and a change in polling locations failed to deter many Butte residents determined to cast their ballots today. MTPR’s John Hooks saw a steady stream of voters at the Plaza Mall this morning and spoke with a few of them.

Kellen Stubbs says, "It’s an important part of democracy and I think that’s something that’s fairly lacking, especially with local elections. It’s something that’s generally ignored in favor of the Presidential Election, and a lot of people don’t realize how much a local election plays an important part of your day to day life.

"[I'm] Voting Democrat down the ballot, but the most important one is the referendum act on alive persons, and the vagueness of it. It’s something that I think is definitely important on the ballot, and a lot of people missed because it wasn’t widely advertised at all. And the language on it is confusing enough that it can be applied widely enough that most people don’t know about it either."

Jami Shiner says, "I was always told that if you vote you have a voice. And my voice counts to me, so I vote all the time."

"My issue was who I thought was being the most honest, do I want a fresh face in there; so I did not vote any incumbents."

'I’ve been registered ever since my first vote for John F. Kennedy'

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:07 PM MST
St. Joseph Polling place manager Abdul Kadri.
Edward O'Brien
Montana Public Radio
St. Joseph Polling place manager Abdul Kadri.

Missoula’s St Joseph School pulled double duty today as both a private elementary school and a polling place. A steady stream of voters this morning braved the bitter cold and slick streets to cast their votes in the school’s gym.

Linda Lennox explains why she likes to vote in person.

"I’ll be 81 in two weeks. I’ve been registered ever since my first vote for John F. Kennedy. I live two blocks away. I have always voted in person. I like to talk to people that have taken time to come in to vote in person – because we’re neighbors. We all live in the same precinct, and you get to talk and visit a bit."

Abdul Kadri says, “I’m the polling place manager today. My responsibility — it’s something sacred to me — to have everyone, regardless of their political affiliation, be able to come and cast their vote in a secure and safe environment without intimidation and without any hindrance.”

Good vibes in Butte

Posted November 8, 2022 at 1:49 PM MST

How to read your social media feeds on Election Day

Posted November 8, 2022 at 12:21 PM MST

Voters in the U.S. who go on Twitter, TikTok, Facebook or other platforms to learn about Tuesday's pivotal U.S. midterm elections are likely to encounter rumors, hearsay and misinformation.

There's also a lot of useful information on social media, including authoritative results from election officials, the latest news about candidates and races, and the perspectives of the voters casting ballots.

Here are some tips for navigating social media on Election Day — and in the days or weeks that follow.

Read the full story.

My Voter page is back online

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:24 AM MST

Butte polling place moved

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:07 AM MST
Voters enter the new polling location in Butte at the former Herberger’s location at the Plaza Mall on Harrison Avenue.
John Hooks
Voters enter the new polling location in Butte at the former Herberger’s location at the Plaza Mall on Harrison Avenue.

Voters in Butte will need to go to a new main polling place today. The usual location at the Civic Center is unavailable due to production of the Yellowstone franchise film 1923. The new polling location is at the former Herberger’s location at the Plaza Mall on Harrison Avenue.

My Voter page goes offline

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:52 AM MST

The state's My Voter website has gone offline. The site allows you to confirm your voter registration status, find directions to your polling place and view the status of your mailed absentee ballot.

Inflation is top issue in this week's midterms

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:27 AM MST

Rising prices are the number one concern for voters in this year's midterm elections, outpacing abortion, crime and other hot-button issues.

More than one in three voters cited inflation as their most pressing priority, according to the latest NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll. "Preserving democracy" was a distant second. Republicans were seen as better than Democrats at tackling inflation by a wide margin.

Read the full story here.

NPR Election Day live blog

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:23 AM MST

Get updates from across the country with NPR's live Election Day coverage.

Voting info

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:50 AM MST

Follow along as we share Election day updates from across the state. First off, some voting info:

When are the polls open?

Most polling places open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m, although some polling places may open as late as 12 p.m. An individual who is in line at the time polls close must be allowed to vote.

What do I need to take with me to the polls?

There are many identification options available. Visit the Voter ID webpage for more information. If you do not have proper identification when you arrive at the polls, you can vote a provisional ballot.

Can I take someone else's voted ballot to the election office and place it in the drop box?

Montana allows someone to designate a “caregiver, family member, household member or acquaintance” to return a ballot on their behalf. The law does stipulate that one individual may not collect or return more than six ballots.

Can I bring my absentee ballot to a polling place to turn in, on Nov 8?

You can drop your completed absentee ballot at county elections offices. To find out more, including a list of drop-off locations, check out the Secretary of State’s absentee voter information page.

Do you have a question we haven’t answered yet? Submit your questions here or by texting “MTPR” to 855-670-1777.