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The latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news.

Governor Bullock Says Every Ballot Counts In This Year's Elections

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Steve Jess
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Montana Governor Steve Bullock cast his ballot in Helena this morning,  and then met with reporters outside the Helena Civic Center. Montana Public Radio’s Capitol Bureau Chief Steve Jess was there.

The Democratic Governor politely dodged questions about who he voted for, except to say that no one would be surprised if they knew. But he reminded Montana voters that many elections, especially on the local level, are decided by slim margins, so every vote really does count.

“We have so many elections across the state that are often just decided by a few voters, and this really is our voice," Bullock said. "It’s an opportunity for everyone to express it so I certainly encourage people to get out the vote today.”

By 10:00 the polling station at the civic center was busy, but there were no waiting lines. Still, the governor chose to see the glass as half-full. People were turning out to vote, even in a relatively quiet election year where few of the major races were in doubt.

“I have one vote, just like everybody else does," said Bullock. "So I think it’s encouraging for everybody that these parking lots are full, and even though it’s an off year election, people are out here voting.”

Asked about the many political action committees and “dark money” sources trying to exert their influence, Bullock said the election was a chance for voters to remind the big-money interests that the people, not corporations, have the final say.

"Nationally, even on an off year election, over $2 billion are being spent on the Senate and Congressional races, so, I think the election really is about ensuring that at the end of the day elections are decided by the individuals that are getting out to vote today and in the weeks preceding.”

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Credit Steve Jess
Montana Governor Steve Bullock talks with reporters after he cast his ballot in Helena on Tuesday.

With the entire state House and half the Senate up for election, Bullock wants those seats filled by people he can work with, even if they don't see eye to eye on every issue. He says he’s looking forward to a state legislature that fulfills its responsibility to govern.

“While there were some differences last legislative session, we also came together and got a lot of good things done," said Bullock. "I’m hopeful that whatever our legislature looks like, it’ll be folks that want to get things done and also folks that don't want to put like two hundred bills on my desk the last day of the legislative session, asking me to sort it out.”

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