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Yellowstone County ballots in the mail
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Yellowstone County ballots in the mail

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Ballots in the mail

A pallet of ballots is prepared to be mailed out to Yellowstone County voters at the Election Administration office in the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings on Thursday.

Ballots for November's general election, which includes the races for president, governor, U.S. Senate and the state's lone U.S. House seat, among a host of other contests, will be mailed out Friday. 

Yellowstone County opted in September to hold the election completely by mail and those ballots will begin showing up in the mail as early as Saturday. Mail-in ballots are sent to voters with two return envelopes — one for the ballot itself to ensure secrecy and another in which the sealed ballot is placed to be mailed back to the elections office.

For the last week, residents wishing to vote in person could do so at the county election office. That's no longer available; county election administration has now moved to the Montana Pavilion at MetraPark.

"The courthouse office will be open for ballot drop off and registration/absentee application drop off only. No ballots can be issued at the courthouse," said Yellowstone County elections administrator Bret Rutherford.

With ballots now in the mail, Rutherford encourages voters to fill those ballots out and mail them back or return them in person to the county election office at 217 N. 27th St., Room 101. Ballots must be returned by Election Day on Nov. 3.

Election officials across the state have advised voters to return their ballots swiftly to ensure they are counted.

Voters can check the status of their mailed ballots online at app.mt.gov/voterinfo/

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Steve Tobin lives on Avenue F near Pioneer Park and was walking to his office in downtown Billings Tuesday morning when he saw what looked like a pile of trash at the base of a tree near the street.

"There was a torn up ballot," he said. "I didn't know what to do with it."

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