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About 30K ballots returned so far for Yellowstone County primary

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More than 30,000 Yellowstone County residents have returned their voted ballots for Montana’s June 2 primary election.

Elections Administator Bret Rutherford told MTN News 30,744 ballots have been returned so far out of some 68,000 sent out. It’s a pace Rutherford said is ahead of the 2016 and 2018 primaries by about 5,000 ballots.

One big reason is the return postage is already paid for in Montana’s first all mail-in election.

Rutherford reminds voters to be sure to sign the envelope used to return the voted ballot. Your signature is required, or your ballot cannot be counted. Already this month, Rutherford said 336 ballots in Yellowstone County have been rejected for that reason.

If there is a problem, the elections office will notify voters so it can be fixed. Rutherford said It’s another reason voters should not wait until the last minute to vote.

Elections officials are encouraging voters to get their ballot in the mail by next Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Mailing by that date will ensure your ballot gets to the elections office by election day.

If you choose to drop off your ballot, it needs to be in the hands of election officials by 8 p.m. June 2.

Also, due to this week’s Yellowstone County District Court ruling that put¬†Montana’s Ballot Interference Prevention Law (BIPA) on hold, Rutherford said no paperwork is necessary to turn in multiple ballots.

In fact, he said all reference to the BIPA Law has already been scrubbed from the Elections office website.

A hearing on the future of that law is now set for May 29.

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