High voter turnout pointing to record year - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

High voter turnout pointing to record year

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BILLINGS, Mont. -
We're just one week away until election day and several states are seeing a higher return on early voter ballots. 
With the Montana Senate race being highly watched we took a look across the state to see what Montana's voter turnout has been so far. 
Yellowstone County has 84,000 active registered voters and sent out 72,000 early voter ballots. 
So far 59 percent of those ballots had been returned as of Monday morning, October 29th. 
In Missoula County, 44 percent of 58,000 early voter ballots have been returned. 
In Cascade County, just over half of the more than 33,000 early voter ballots have made their way back to the election office. 
 When you're ready to vote you can fill out your early voting ballot and fold it up, put it in the mail or walk it down to your local election office or polling station. 
Yellowstone County Election Administrator, Bret Rutherford, said early voter mail-in ballots "make it so much easier for people to vote when it actually shows up in the mailbox, it's a good reminder."
Rutherford said the numbers so far are high and if it continues it could be a record year. 
He said, "there's a couple of things in play here, one, it's just a big year for voting, everybody's just kind of enthused about it on both sides of the aisle, even independents, and then also our absentee law changed after the last legislative session where in the old days you had to fill out an absentee application to get a mail ballot now as long as you haven't moved you're going to keep getting one." 
It's recommended that if you haven't put your ballot in the mail you do so by the end of the week as the election office needs to have it in their hands by 8 pm on November 6th. 
You can continue to late register to vote until November 1st and then once again at the polls but Rutherford recommends registering early as lines to register could be long and the wait could be a few hours. 

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