Office of Elections - Frequently Asked Questions

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Please use the list below to find answers to the most commonly asked questions our office receives. If your question is not answered here, call our office at 258-4751 or email

Q: How can I find my polling place?

Answer: Find your polling place by visiting the Montana Secretary of State's My Voter Page.
If you are unable to locate your polling place, you can contact us by phone or email our office to determine where to cast your vote. 

Q: What forms of ID are acceptable to vote?

Answer: All voters will be required to show one form of identification at the polls on Election Day. Acceptable forms of identification are:
  • Driver's License
  • School District or Post-secondary education photo identification
  • Costco Card
  • Tribal Photo Card
  • Voter Confirmation Card
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government document that shows the elector's name and current address

Q: Can an individual vote without any form of identification?

Answer: Yes. Montana law, in combination with the Help America Vote Act, provides alternative channels for a person without the required forms of identification to cast their vote. Here is how it works:
  • If you do not have any of the items listed above, you can still vote by requesting and filling out a "Polling Place Elector ID" form, provided by an election judge at your polling place.
  • Or, you can vote a provisional ballot and provide one of the items listed above the day after the election. Your provisional ballot will be counted if you provide one of the items on the list to the County Election Office by 5:00 p.m. the day after the election, or mail it to the County Election Office postmarked by the day after the election.

Q: How can I obtain an absentee ballot?

Answer: You may request an application for an absentee ballot by mail, phone, or in person and you may mail the completed application directly to the election administrator or deliver it in person to the election administrator at 200 West Broadway, Missoula, MT 59802. After the close of regular registration, 30 days prior to a federal election, absentee ballots may be requested in person at the Election Center stationed at the Fairgrounds. Or, current registered voters may submit a request for an absentee ballot for mailing by submitting an Absentee Request in person or via mail.
Visit our Absentee Ballot page for more information.

Q: What if I make an error on my ballot?

Answer: If you made a mistake on your absentee/mail ballot or on the ballot you received at your polling place, our office urges you to request a new one to ensure your vote is counted.


Q: What are the dates of the federal primary and general elections?

Answer: A federal primary election is held every even-numbered year on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June. A federal general election is held every even-numbered year on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The presidential elections are combined with the congressional, statewide, state district, and county elections.
Presidential Primary - June 5, 2018
Federal General - Nov. 6, 2018

Q: What are the dates of the municipal primary and general elections?

Answer: A municipal primary election, if necessary, is held every odd-numbered year on the first Tuesday after the second Monday in September. A municipal general election is held every odd-numbered year on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Q: What are the deadlines for the close of regular registration for elections?

Answer: Regular registration closes 30 days before any election. Late registration begins the next day,  and ends at the close of polls on Election Day (except from noon until 5:00 p.m. on the Monday before Election Day - this break allows staff time to update registration books and other materials that help election judges on Election Day). Late registration occurs at the Missoula County Fairgrounds at the Fine Arts Building (Building #15).


Q: I moved within the last year, do I need to re-register?

Answer: Yes!  If you moved within Missoula County you need to re-register by mail or at our office. Please visit our Voter Registration page to re-register. If you moved to a different county, you need to register within your new county of residence. Visit the Secretary of State's website to see a complete list of Montana election offices.

Q: I recently changed my name, do I need to re-register?

Answer: In order to verify voter eligibility, our office requires current voter information. Please visit our Voter Registration page to learn how to submit your voter registration information to our office. See the next FAQ if you recently registered to vote at your local driver's license center.

Q: I updated my voter registration at the driver's license center, do I still need to register to vote?

Answer: Voter registration information the driver's license center collects can take two to three weeks to reach the Elections Office. It is best to wait for that time period and then visit the My Voter Page to verify if the driver's license center submitted the most recent information. If it is near Election Day and the My Voter Page does not reflect your new information, please visit our Voter Registration page to learn how to register through our office.

Absentee Voting

Q: How does absentee voting work?

Answer: Absentee voting is when voters receive their ballots by mail. Individuals must complete the Application for Absentee Ballot in order to receive their voting packet via mail. Voters absent from the polls on Election Day because they are out of town, are ill, or simply prefer the convenience, can still cast their vote with an absentee ballot. Absentee voting is sometimes referred to as "voting by mail" since it allows the individual to cast their ballot from home.

Q: What should I do if I am not sure that my absentee ballot will reach me or that my voted ballot will reach the election administrator on time?

Answer: The Missoula County Elections Office provides a ballot tracking system that shows the mailed date, received date, and processing status for each voter's ballot.  If you think your ballot might not be received by mail on Election Day, you can also drop it off at the Missoula County Election Center at the Fairgrounds (Building #15) or at the Missoula County Courthouse at 200 West Broadway.