The 2016 Montana primary election is peaking and all campaigns are or should be in full swing. The absentee ballots in Yellowstone County will be going out in the mail on Friday May 13th. Bret Rutherford, Yellowstone County Election Administrator, stated on Tuesday that they receive back about 1/3 of the absentee ballots within 7-10 days. Rutherford also stated that about 80%-90% of ballots cast will be absentee in Yellowstone County.
As Yellowstone County residents usually have a pretty high turnout for presidential election years, this year will mark yet another reason to fill out the ballots as the primary election will basically decide some races as there is no general election opponent. Montana is looking to be an important primary election this year as the republican presidential election on June 7 could decide the GOP nominee in favor of Donald Trump. Donald Trump is currently at 991 delegates and needs to reach 1,237 in order to clinch the Republican nomination. In June’s primary, Montana has 27 delegates to offer in favor of or against Donal Trump in his quest to clinch the Republican nomination before the convention in July.
Locally, there are primary races that will decide the winner. For example, incumbent Jim Reno and Denis Pitman are vying for the Yellowstone County Commissioner’s seat. In the Clerk of District Court position, there are three running for that seat; incumbent Kristie Lee Boelter, Terry Halpin and Richard William Nixon. As for District 2 of the Public Service Commission, Incumbent Kirk Bushman is running against Tony O’Donnell. All three races will decide the winner as there is no general election Democrat opponent.