The Missoula County Elections Office on Tuesday set the date for this year’s primary election for September 14, when voters in two city wards will choose among a handful of new City Council candidates and voters across the city will select their top choices for mayor.
The top two candidates in each of the three races will move on to the General Election in November.
The City Council last week voted to hold the primary, though the vote wasn’t unanimous. The election will cost an estimated $114,600 and will be held entirely by mail. Polling places will not be open, though all active registered voters should receive a ballot by mail after Aug. 25.
Those ballots must be returned by September 14 – the night the winning candidates will be announced.
The three races, including the mayoral race and City Council races in Wards 1 and 6, each have more than two candidates. However, one candidate in Ward 6 failed to complete the filing requirements, leaving just two candidates.
Elections administrator Bradley Seaman said the two remaining candidates in Ward 6 will automatically move on to the November election. They include Kristen Jordan and Tom Taylor.
Four candidates have filed to fill a seat in Ward 1 being vacated by Bryan von Lossberg. Those candidates include Jennifer Savage, Kevin Hunt, Sheena Winterer and Jane VanFossen.
The primary race for mayor will include incumbent John Engen and newcomers Jacob Elder, Greg Strandberg and Shawn Knopp. The top two candidates will move on to November.
“Due to recent changes in state law, Missoula residents can no longer register to vote or make changes to their voter registration on Election Day,” said Seaman. “We look forward to administering the city’s upcoming elections, and we’ll have public tours of the process for voters to better understand how elections are run in Montana and Missoula.”
Residents who need to register to vote or update their registration need to fill out the voter registration form found at http://missoula.co/registertovote. The deadline for regular voter registration is 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16. Late registration will be available Tuesday, Aug. 17, through noon Monday, Sept. 13.