Montana Public Radio

As Voting Begins, Candidates Launch Get Out The Vote Efforts

Oct 14, 2020

The November general election is only three weeks away but thousands of Montanans are already voting. Political candidates are traveling across the state to drive up voter turnout.

The Republicans running for statewide and federal offices caravanned around Montana on an 11 stop “Get Out The Vote” tour last week. 

At a gathering outside of the state GOP office in Helena, Kristen Juras, a Republican attorney running for lieutenant governor, asked people to do two things: vote and volunteer to help spread the word about the candidates. 

"Each and every one of you can make a difference. We need your help."

Juras is Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte’s running mate. The pair are vying for the governor’s office against Democratic Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney and his running mate, Casey Schriener. 

Democrats began hosting “Drive Out The Vote” events in early October, and will continue to through the end of the month. 

On Tuesday night, three rows of cars parked in front of a stage and a jumbotron at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds. The rain was pouring, but nobody had to get out of their cars. They tuned into their radios to listen to candidates’ stump pitches, just like a drive-in theater.

Democratic Governor Steve Bullock is running in a tight race for U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Sen. Steve Daines. 

"This is, as they said, the most important election of our lifetime. Let’s not leave anything on the field by the end of it."

Forty-five of Montana’s 56 counties are voting by all-mail ballot elections this year. Ballots were mailed to voters last Friday. According to the Secretary of State’s office, nearly 20,000 absentee ballots had been cast as of Tuesday. 

Ballots returned by mail should be postmarked by Oct. 26 or dropped off at county buildings by Election Day, Nov. 3, by 8 p.m.