Over 8,000 ballots have already been cast in next week's Special Congressional Election in Ravalli County.

The absentee ballot numbers at the county election office show that about a third of the registered voters have voted ahead of the Thursday, May 25, election date.

Absentee balloting has been growing steadily over the years in Ravalli County and in other precincts throughout Montana.

Even if you didn't request an absentee ballot be mailed to you, you can still vote early. The absentee polling place is set up on the ground floor of the Ravalli County Administration Center on South 4th Street in Hamilton. It is across the hall from the MSU Extension Office.

Regular polling places will all be open on May 25 at their normal locations. The only change in polling places for this election is Hamilton, where precincts voted at Hamilton High School. They will instead vote in a building at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds. This is not a mail-in election. Either you vote early as absentee or you cast your ballot on election day at your local polling place.

Most voters in Ravalli County will have the single issue - who will become the U.S. House of Representatives congressman from Montana, replacing Ryan Zinke. Zinke was named Secretary of the Interior earlier this year.

In the Hamilton School District precincts, voters will also decide on two money issues for the schools - a General Operations levy of $400,00 and a bond issue of $9,750,000.

KLYQ Radio will have results from the election as soon as possible after the polls close Thursday, May 25.