2016 Election Guide

A breakdown of stories and information on the Nov. 8 general election

By Beacon Staff
Illustration by Steve Larson | Flathead Beacon

The 2016 general election is down to its final days. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Absentee ballots were mailed last month and must be returned by Nov. 8. Absentee ballots can be dropped off at the South Campus Building, 40 11th St. W., #230, in Kalispell, which is where late registration can also be conducted.

Voting locations are dependent on your precinct and will be open until 8 p.m. Most residents in the Flathead Valley will vote at the Trade Center at the Flathead County Fairgrounds in Kalispell.

All voters are required to show one form of acceptable identification: driver’s license; school district or postsecondary education photo ID; tribal photo identification card; Costco card; voter confirmation card; or a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or other government document that shows the individual’s name and current address.

For those who are not registered to vote, you must appear in person at the Flathead County Election Department and fill out a voter registration card. For more information, call (406) 758-5535.

Click here to view a list of polling places where you can vote.

Click here to see which voting precinct you’re in and to ensure that you’re registered to vote.

Click here to view a sample ballot for Flathead County.

Click here to visit the Montana Secretary of State’s website for more information on voting.

»»» Live results will be posted at FlatheadBeacon.com on Election Day. 

Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon Voters walk past booths set up at the Flathead County Fairgrounds in Kalispell after casting their vote in the 2008 election.
Beacon File Photo

State House & Senate

Young and Unorthodox, Flathead GOP Candidates Mount Challenges on Dems

In House Districts 3 and 5, first-time Republican candidates vie for only two Democratic seats »»» READ MORE


Candidate Questionnaires

The Beacon sent questionnaires to local candidates for the state House and Senate giving them a chance to lay out their platforms and address priority issues that Montana is facing. »»» READ MORE

Eileen Lowery, left, in a contributed photo, and Pam Holmquist, right. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon
Eileen Lowery, left, in a contributed photo, and Pam Holmquist, right. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Flathead County Commission

Incumbent Pam Holmquist (R) vs. Eileen Lowery (D)

Private Property, Jail Crowding and Mental Health at Center of Commission Race

One of Flathead County’s most powerful seats is up for grabs, with incumbent Republican Pam Holmquist squaring off against Democratic political newcomer Eileen Lowery »»» READ MORE


Rhoda Cargill and Jerry Bennett are running for Lincoln County Commission. Courtesy Photo.
Rhoda Cargill and Jerry Bennett are running for Lincoln County Commission. Courtesy Photos

Lincoln County Commission

Rhoda Cargill vs. Jerry Bennett

Newcomer Faces off Against Political Veteran for Lincoln County Commission

Rhoda Cargill says new perspective needed on commission, while Jerry Bennett touts experience »»» READ MORE


Beacon Photo Illustration


Incumbent Steve Bullock (D) vs. Greg Gianforte (R)

Final Countdown

As the governor’s race enters the home stretch before election, Bullock and Gianforte rev up campaigns »»» READ MORE


Gianforte Says He’ll Bring Business Perspective and Leadership to Statehouse

Republican candidate sticking to message of high-wage job growth »»» READ MORE


Bullock Proposes Tax Waivers, Credits for Businesses

Plan includes waiving 75 percent of the state business equipment tax for a new business »»» READ MORE


Rick Perry Hits Campaign Trail with Gianforte

Former Texas governor and two-time Republican presidential candidate stumps in Flathead Valley »»» READ MORE


Gianforte Sinks $5.1M of Own Money into Governor’s Race

According to campaign finance reports, the Republican cut his campaign two $1 million checks over the last month »»» READ MORE


Dinosaurs Roar into Montana Governor’s Race with New Ad

Paleontologist Jack Horner saying candidate Greg Gianforte thinks the Earth is only a few thousand years old »»» READ MORE


Attorney General: No Authority to Investigate Bullock Emails

Bullock staff says he turned over public records, documents and case files from his time as attorney general »»» READ MORE


Bullock, Gianforte Ratchet Up Campaigns With Early Voting

Candidates are changing their focus from trying to sway undecided voters to rallying their supporters to cast their votes »»» READ MORE


Gianforte Calls for Hiatus for Rulemaking, Large Contracts

The Republican gubernatorial candidate outlined his initiative during a campaign stop in Billings »»» READ MORE


Bullock, Gianforte Duel One Last Time Before Voting Starts

With one month to go until Nov. 8 election, gubernatorial candidates spar over state’s fiscal health »»» READ MORE


Bullock Opponent Questions ‘Most Fiscally Prudent’ Claim

Bullock’s claim is based on a 2014 report by Michael Cembalest  »»» READ MORE


Montana Gubernatorial Candidates Clash on Course of Montana Economy

Candidates offered starkly different portrayals of the Treasure State fiscal outlook »»» READ MORE


Gianforte: Sell State Plane, Ground Bullock

Governors have used planes to travel the vast state since the 1960s »»» READ MORE


Gianforte Says Indian Reservations Hinder Free Markets

Governor candidate says shortcomings of tribal governments are preventing businesses from flourishing  »»» READ MORE


Gianforte Sends ‘Cease and Desist’ Letter to TV Stations

Attorney for GOP gubernatorial candidate urges networks to stop airing attack ads »»» READ MORE


Wood Products Group Says it Did Not Endorse Gianforte

Republican candidate has been telling people he won the Montana Wood Products Association’s endorsement »»» READ MORE


Bullock Unveils Energy Plan

Governor releases blueprint for “balanced and responsible energy future” »»» READ MORE


What’s at Stake?

Analysis of the 2016 Montana primary election results, featuring interviews with candidates for governor, state and county lawmakers, and political observers »»» READ MORE


Beacon File Photos

U.S. House Representative

Incumbent Ryan Zinke (R) vs. Denise Juneau (D)

House Speaker Paul Ryan Stumps for Zinke in Billings

Republican from Wisconsin described Zinke, a former U.S Navy SEAL, as a rising leader within their party »»» READ MORE


Montana House Race Contrast: Navy SEAL vs Longtime Educator

Analysts have said from the start of the campaign that Juneau faced an uphill battle »»» READ MORE


The Loneliest Seat

In the battle for Montana’s sole U.S. House seat, Democratic challenger Denise Juneau has narrowed her margin on Republican incumbent Ryan Zinke, but is it enough? »»» READ MORE


Zinke Calls Trump’s Comments ‘Wrong,’ but Stops Short of Pulling Endorsement

Democratic opponent for U.S. House calls on Montana’s lone congressman to renounce support after leaked recording of lewd conversation »»» READ MORE


Juneau Says She Would Change Discourse on Gays and Lesbians

Zinke repeated his accusation that Juneau has been lying about his record in Congress »»» READ MORE


New Candidate to Join Zinke, Juneau in Third US House Debate

Breckenridge replaced Mike Fellows as the Libertarian Party candidate »»» READ MORE


Libertarian House Candidate Mike Fellows Killed in Car Crash

Officials say the 59-year-old Fellows died in a head-on collision with another vehicle on Montana Highway 200 Monday night »»» READ MORE


Zinke Misstates Rate of Terrorist Attacks by Children

Zinke said in debates this week that refugee women and children can be terrorist threats »»» READ MORE


Montana U.S. House Candidates Clash Over Coal in Debate

The two major party candidates met for their second debate at Montana State University in Billings »»» READ MORE


Zinke, Juneau Face Off in First U.S. House Debate

Candidates sparred on Native American, rural issues and refugee resettlements »»» READ MORE


Candidates for Montana House Seat Spar Over Public Lands

Juneau portrayed herself as a champion public lands and access on Wednesday »»» READ MORE


Montana Race for U.S. Congress Remains Under the Radar

Zinke’s national stature could rise Monday when he addresses the GOP National Convention in Cleveland »»» READ MORE


Access Groups Say Zinke Waffled on Land Transfer Votes

Whitefish Congressman defends position against outright transfer of federal parcels to state »»» READ MORE


Zinke Backs Trump on Eve of Montana Rally

Zinke became the only statewide elected official to back Trump »»» READ MORE


A Political Education

As a Democrat challenging a Republican incumbent in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives, Denise Juneau faces headwinds as the 2016 elections heat up »»» READ MORE


Zinke Announces Re-election Bid; Says He Will Defend Values

Juneau, who is the state’s superintendent of public instruction, filed candidacy papers on Thursday »»» READ MORE

State Supreme Court

Supreme Court Candidate Pivots to General Election After Primary Win

Kristen Juras campaigned in the Flathead Valley last week »»» READ MORE


Montana Chief Justice Mike McGrath Reflects on First Term

Chief justice said he has kept his pledge to bring greater efficiency to the court »»» READ MORE


Supreme Court Candidate Vows to Keep Politics Out of Justice System

Cascade County District Court judge and Montana Supreme Court justice candidate said partisan politics poses the biggest threat to the state’s highest court »»» READ MORE


Jars of medical marijuana are seen at a clinic in Kalispell. Beacon File Photo
Jars of medical marijuana are seen at a clinic in Kalispell. Beacon File Photo

Ballot Initiatives

Breaking Down the Ballot Issues

Voters will fill out ballots to determine where Montana stands on trapping, medical marijuana, brain disease and research, victim’s rights »»» READ MORE


Early Voters to Find Full Slate of Ballot Initiatives

Early voting kicked off for state residents Friday »»» READ MORE


Other Races

Secretary of State

Incumbent Monica Lindeen (D) vs. Corey Stapleton (R) vs. Roger Roots (L)


Attorney General

Incumbent Tim Fox (R) vs. Larry Jent (D)


State Auditor

Jesse Laslovich (D) vs. Matt Rosendale (R)


State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Elsie Arntzen (R) vs. Melissa Romano (D)

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