Absentee Ballots in Montana Continue to Pile Up

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A record number of Montanans are taking advantage of laws that allow anyone to vote absentee, setting up a large turnout this election season.

The secretary of state’s office says about 175,000 absentee ballots have been cast so far. That number will increase on Election Day, as those who register for same day voting will cast absentee ballots.

The total number far surpasses the 119,000 absentee ballots case in 2006.

Big interest in the presidential race, spurred by active campaigns in the state, and a full slate of statewide races is proving a big draw.

Secretary of State Brad Johnson is predicting that turnout at least equals the 70 percent seen in the 2004 presidential election.