MISSOULA – Election Day is proving to be a very busy time at the Missoula County Fairgrounds.
The Missoula County Elections Office reports there are nearly 80,000 residents eligible to cast ballots on Tuesday. Folks can also still register to vote until 8 p.m. at the Elections Center at the Fairgrounds until 8 p.m. Registered voters can find their polling place by clicking here.
People lined up to register to vote on Tuesday morning with elections officials reporting at one point the wait time was about 30 minutes at the Missoula County Elections Center.
Elections officials were reporting that as of 10 a.m., 60,572 absentee ballots had been issued with 43,555 returned — a nearly 72% response rate. Additionally, nearly 3,000 ballots had been cast at 26 polling places and nearly 300 people either registered or updated their registration at the Elections Center.
Local elections officials say the number of people voting by absentee ballot is up compared to previous years.
Just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, MTN Political Analyst Mike Dennison reported that 340,000 absentee ballots have already been turned in across Montana, which amounts to a 50% turnout before Election Day voters.
— Mike Dennison (@mikedennison) November 6, 2018
Voters can drop off ballots at the South Avenue entrance to the fairgrounds and there will also be a drop off at the fairgrounds on the Russell Street entrance. There is also an absentee drop off at the Missoula County Courthouse.
UDASH is running a free Election Shuttle between the University of Montana campus and the Fairgrounds until 8 p.m.
The Missoula Family YMCA is offering free childcare services on Election Day at 3000 South Russell Street until 8 p.m and is available for kids between six 6 months and 10 years old.