Missoula will use mail-in ballots for November municipal election

The highest-profile race in November’s municipal election will feature incumbent Mayor John Engen and challenger Lisa Triepke.

Missoula voters will elect a mayor, seven city council members and a municipal judge this November via mail-in ballots.

In a unanimous vote Monday, the City Council opted to use mail ballots for the municipal vote Nov. 7, as has been the case for the past five municipal elections.

On Nov. 7, city voters will consider 19 candidates who’ve filed to run for seven seats on the council, municipal judge and mayor. One mayoral candidate dropped out of that race last week.

For a full list of candidates and offices, please click here.

Under non-partisan election statutes, the Missoula City Council can request that the city general election be conducted by mail ballot.

A mail-ballot election is less expensive. The city has $76,800 budgeted for the 2017 municipal election.

Earlier this summer, council members also decided to save money by not holding a primary election in September.

While there are four City Council candidates running in Ward 4, there are three or fewer candidates in every other race. Incumbent Councilman Jon Wilkins has three opponents in Ward 4.

By statute, the general election ballots must be mailed no sooner than 20 days and not later than the 15th day prior to an election.

The Missoula County election administrator has the final decision on the timing of ballot distribution, and will conduct the vote and vote-counting.