Right now in Montana, there’s a heated competition between Democrat Rob Quist, Republican Greg Gianforte and Libertarian Mark Wicks–all of whom are hoping to replace Ryan Zinke. Zinke was Montana’s only House member, before he resigned in early May so he could become President Trump’s Interior secretary. Currently, there is low voter turnout happening in the closely watched congressional race.
Who will be the one to replace him? Almost two-thirds of the state’s population has yet to cast their ballots, so it could end up being quite a surprise.
As is typical of off-season elections, the state of Montana is also experiencing quite a low voter turnout, and as the opportunity to vote for the next Big Sky Country congressman draws closer to an end, things are getting hectic. Just 31 percent of the state’s registered voters had turned in their ballots as of May 18th, just a week before the vote will come to a close. Will any more votes roll in by May 25th? Who knows. Officials say that they aren’t expecting much from last-minute voters, as the upcoming long weekend is certain to ensure that many people are more concerned about camping and cookouts than they are with casting their ballots.
Bret Rutherford, a Yellowstone County Elections officer, commented, “We’ve had a few people. If this was October, we would have people coming into the office all day long, eight to five o’clock, someone would be in here.”
In spite of the low turnout, counties are doing everything they can to encourage more people to vote, even with the holiday weekend approaching. For example, the folks in Gallatin County plan to put out a ballot drop-off box outside, so residents can drop off their absentee ballots without having to even leave the comfort of their vehicles – a sort of drive-thru voting, if you will.