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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Vote counting may not finish tonight. That's normal

Tabulator operator Jeff Sillick prepares a stack of ballots for counting in the Lewis and Clark County elections office on Nov. 2, 2020.
Kevin Trevellyan
/
Yellowstone Public Radio
Tabulator operator Jeff Sillick prepares a stack of ballots for counting in the Lewis and Clark County elections office on Nov. 2, 2020.

It’s Montana’s primary Election Day. While mail-in voting began three weeks ago, this is the state’s biggest election to have in-person voting since polling places were closed during the pandemic. Accordingly, delays in results are normal.

The polls opened at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Lewis and Clark County elections administrator Connor Fitzpatrick hopes to have the first round of preliminary results available shortly after 8.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “We’re going to get them out as fast as we can.”

Former President Donald Trump has made baseless claims that mail-in voting is fraudulent and that a delay in reporting results is a sign of trouble, but that’s not true. It’s normal for elections workers to still be counting votes a day or two after an election.

Election workers had additional training this year and took extra time to get familiar with new election laws, Fitzpatrick said.

Find results for Montana's statewide races: U.S. House, Public Service Commission and State Supreme Court.

Shaylee began covering state government and politics for Montana Public Radio in August 2020. Originally from Belgrade, Montana, she graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program and previously worked as a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and UM’s Legislative News Service. Please share tips, questions and concerns by emailing shaylee.ragar@mso.umt.edu.