Election officials make last minute preparations


POSTED: 6:36 PM Nov 01 2012   UPDATED: 9:05 PM Nov 01 2012
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

It's crunch time at the Gallatin County Election Office with around 100 people coming in everyday to either late register or update their registration.  Election officials say another 50 folks come in everyday to request an absentee ballot.

Yet, the line going out their door is not the only thing keeping election workers busy.  Officials tell us they have their hands full training workers, refining the process for Election day and making last minute preparations to ensure things run smoothly on Tuesday.

"Getting the supply bags ready that have to go to the polling place, reconciling all the ballots that come in, the absentee ballots, so that we can make sure everybody's ballot gets counted," says Gallatin County Election Administrator Charlotte Mills.

Keeping track of those absentee ballots that come in is no easy feat.  Election officials estimate already around two thirds of absentee ballots have been received.

"The base number that we've sent out this year is much higher so, the number we're getting back is big.  So, right now, we have more absentee ballots back right now than we had entire votes cast in the primary election," says Mills.

When it comes to casting ballots at the polls, officials say they had the public watch as they successfully ran a test of their equipment

"It's nice to know that people can sign off on your reports and tell you that they agree that the machines are counting the races correctly," says Mills.

Now, folks at the election office are making sure they have enough workers so they can get reporting done early on Tuesday.

Election officials say they can use registered voters willing to be sequestered from 8am to 5pm on Monday and those willing to work 8pm to close of counting on Tuesday.

The election office will stop late registration and issuing absentee ballots on Monday at noon but you can still come in to get a replacement or drop off your ballot.
The office will re-open Tuesday at 7am for registration and voting.