Election Day is right around the corner. These past few months at the Gallatin County Election Department have been both strenuous and rewarding. We’ve worked through the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that voters can register and receive a ballot for the June 2 primary election. With guidance from the Gallatin City-County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Intervention, we are working in earnest to ensure that voting is being conducted in the safest manner possible.

The directive issued by the Governor’s Office in March affected many aspects of the June 2 primary election. Not only is this an all-mail election, the late registration period was shortened to just one week prior to the election. 

Beginning on May 27, voters who need to make changes to their registration or people who have not yet registered to vote must appear in-person at the Gallatin County Election Department in the Courthouse in Bozeman. The maximum occupancy of the election office at this time is five voters. Please call ahead to ensure that we can’t find a solution to an issue by phone or email.

Return postage for this election is prepaid – you don’t need a stamp. The last day a ballot should be returned by mail is Wednesday, May 27. While a ballot mailed after this date might arrive in time to be counted (i.e. no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day on June 2 – postmarks cannot be accepted), it is best to deposit your ballot rather than mail it after this date. 

In order to ensure that voters have multiple options for returning their ballots, we will have ballot drop-off locations throughout the county on Election Day only. These will be located in the parking lots of the usual polling places. 

The polls will not be open for this election. A voter cannot be issued a ballot or mark a ballot at the drop-off locations. Voters whose ballots have been damaged in any way and need replacements should contact the Election Department immediately.

The Gallatin County Election Department is committed to ensuring safe, 

fair, and open elections. We request that voters seal their ballot envelopes with tape rather than saliva. This will not affect whether or not the ballot is accepted or counted, but this precaution will help keep election officials safe while they work to serve the voters of the county. 

If you have questions about this election or any election-related questions, please contact the department at 582-3060 or gallatin.elections@gallatin.mt.gov

Casey Hayes is the Gallatin County Election Manager. He serves under County Clerk and Recorder Eric Semerad. In the Belgrade News readership area, ballots can be dropped off at the following locations:

• Belgrade Special Events Center

• River Rock Community Center

• Manhattan High School

• Manhattan Christian School

• Gallatin Gateway Community Center.