BOZEMAN, Mont. -

The primary election is less than a month away, and with more people choosing to vote via absentee ballots, they have to follow specific guidelines to make sure their vote is counted.

Charlotte Mills, the Clerk and Recorder for Gallatin County estimates the people in her office have stuffed and sent out over 22,000 absentee ballots for the upcoming primary election.

Voters will notice two ballots in their envelopes, one Democratic and one Republican.

"The reason that is is Montana is an open primary, so when you register to vote you don't vote and declare a party. I know that there are some states that are that way and then you just get the party ballot that you declared. So here you get both ballots. You have to choose which one you want to vote and then you'll only vote the one and then you'll send that one back to us. The other one can either be discarded or enclosed in the unvoted envelope that is in with the ballot and return those to us," Mills said.

Mills said every absentee packet should contain two ballots, one for each party, and if they don't then that individual should call their elections office. These absentee ballot guidelines apply to voters across the state.

If both ballots are marked and sent back, then no votes will count.

"If they are both filled out and they are enclosed in the secrecy envelope, neither ballot will count. They need to have one voted ballot in the secrecy envelope and one voted ballot either not returned or in the unvoted envelope that is provided in their ballots," said Mills.

All ballots need to be received at the elections office by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5th or they will not count. Absentee ballots can be physically brought into the office or mailed in, but ballots postmarked June 5th will not be counted unless they arrive by 8 p.m. that day.