Senate Bill 305 would have saved tax payers money - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Senate Bill 305 would have saved tax payers money

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Senate Bill 305, which would require an all mail-in ballot, has stalled in the legislature. A vote was held on Wednesday for the bill, which would have allowed counties to choose whether to use all-mail ballots for the special election to fill the seat once held by Ryan Zinke.

The vote came down to 11-8, meaning Senate Bill 305 is no more, unless a superior majority of House votes or House panel members change their votes.

Bret Rutherford, Yellowstone County Election Administrator, says voter turnout would largely be by mail anyway because Yellowstone County has several absentee voters so there are going to be a lot of voting places with no voters in them. He says regardless, they have planned for both outcomes, but a loss of efficiency takes place when running polling places, rather than an all-mail ballot.

"Basically, saves us resources that are few and far in between such as election judges- it saves us money- usually about 33 percent off the tab, and it helps promote a good turnout," said Rutherford.

Rutherford recommends people follow what the legislature is doing. He says if it's a polling place election, you're going to have to go to your polling place or ask the election administration for an absentee ballot.

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