The June Primary Election in Ravalli County will be by mail-in ballot. The Ravalli County Commissioners voted to move to the mail-in voting after hearing a recommendation from Clerk and Recorder and Election Administrator Regina Plettenberg at a Tuesday afternoon meeting. The move was allowed by a recent directive from Governor Steve Bullock. Plettenberg told commissioners that already 65 percent of the county electorate has been voting early by absentee ballots, so the move to not use polling places wouldn't be a huge change for those voters. And, the election department has had experience with a number of mail-in school elections in the past few years. Added to that, a majority of her election judges did not want run the polling places, worried about exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The final details have yet to be worked out, but ballots will be available May 4 and will be mailed on May 8. The return envelopes will be pre-paid, so there's no cost to the voter. The May 8th mailing is 25 days ahead of the election day. The ballots must be returned by the June 2nd election day. It was a unanimous vote from commissioners Chris Hoffman, Jeff Burrows and Greg Chilcott to make the June 2nd primary a mail-in election. By the way, this is not to be confused with an upcoming countywide school election that is also a mail-in vote with ballots going out in mid-April for a May 5th election day.