Impressive Ravalli County Election Ballot Returns
Ravalli County Election Administrator Regina Plettenberg said that the mail-in ballots are being returned at an amazing rate. Many are mailing, but hundreds are also dropping off their voted ballots at the Ravalli County Administration Building on South 4th Street in Hamilton. She estimated between 700-1,000 ballots returned daily, with about 19,000 ballots already at the election office. With the high interest in the election, Plettenberg is thinking the voter turnout could be a record 85 percent in the county.
However, there's are about 10,000 ballots remaining out there, along with some instances where a person has not received a ballot and needs to register to vote. That can still be done, but it's better to do it this week than next. Plettenberg estimates the lines at the election office will be hours long Monday and especially on Election Day Tuesday, November 3.
There are also those who want to vote at a polling place. There are no polling places this election and the only way to vote in person is to bring your mail-in packet and ballot, unvoted, to the election office, where you can go into a booth and vote the ballot and hand it to the election judge. That's been happening all month at the north end of the Administration Center, where a driveway leads up to a ballot box where you can drop the ballot (you don't even have to get out of your car), or you can walk up, go inside and work with the election judges there. But again, to avoid lines during this COVID-19 pandemic, get it done this week.
More drop-off locations will be open on Election Day - Whitesett's Funeral Home in Stevensville, Florence Fire Hall, Darby Clubhouse and Ravalli County Fairgrounds. And if you're dropping off your ballot that way, please wear a mask to protect the election officials.