Ellen Thompson/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
Betty Williams, deputy election administrator at the Hill County Clerk and Recorder's Office, said she is preparing for a late night Tuesday.
Absentee voting is up this election from 2000. In 2000, 10 percent of registered voters voted absentee. This year, she said, she expects 16 percent.
"I would say there's more interest," Williams said. "I think it's that way all over the country."
She said a team of 18 people will stay up until all the votes are tallied.
"Generally we kind of figure until 2 in the morning, but maybe it will be 3 or 4," Williams said.
There will be 10 staffers from the Clerk and Recorder's Office, six election judges from the community, and two staffers from the Hill County Auditor's Office.
"It's pretty serious. It's business," Williams said.
Fifteen percent of Hill County's 9,866 registered voters had already cast ballots by today, the day before Tuesday's long-awaited general election.
"It's been quite heavy," Hill County Clerk and Recorder Diane Mellem said of absentee voting.
Absentee ballots will be counted along with votes cast at each of the county's 22 polling places beginning 8 p.m. Tuesday, when the polls close.
New voter registration in Hill County doubled from the last presidential election in 2000. In 2000, Hill County added 326 voters to its rolls. This year, it added more than 650 new voters, Mellem said.
Hill County expects that the number of people who vote this year to exceed the number that voted in the 2000 election.
In Blaine County, 400 of the county's 4,117 voters have voted absentee, Clerk and Recorder Sandy Boardman said. The county is operating 11 polling places. Hill County is operating 22 polling places, each staffed with five volunteers to assist voters.
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Voters need to bring a picture ID or an identification that shows theirname and address.
Hill County residents who are unsure of their polling place can call the Hill County Clerk and Recorder's office at 265-5481, ext. 221.
Precinct 1 - Senior citizens center building, 2 W. Second St.
Precinct 2 - Havre-Hill County Library, 402 Third St.
Precinct 3 - Havre Middle School auditorium, 1441 11th St. W.
Precinct 4 - Montana State University-Northern Student Union Building
Precinct 5 - Hill County Courthouse, Timmons Room, 314 Fourth St.
Precinct 6 - Montana State University-Northern Student Union Building
Precinct 7 - Sunnyside Intermediate School library, 601 14th St.
Precinct 8 - Havre High School gymnasium, 900 18th St.
Precinct 9 - Human Resource Development Council, 2229 Fifth Ave.
Precinct 10 - Lincoln-McKinley Primary School gymnasium, 801 Fourth St.
Precinct 13 - Highland Park Early Primary School library, 1207 Washington Ave.
Precinct 14 (Bullhook) - North Star Dodge, 1720 Highway 2 E.
Precinct 15 - Hill Co. Electric Co-op hospitality room, 2121 Highway 2 W.
Precinct 16 (North Havre) - U.S. Bank upstairs, 235 First St.
Precinct 18 - Box Elder School
Precinct 19 - Kremlin School
Precinct 20 - Gildford School
Precinct 21 - Hi-Line Community Center, Hingham
Precinct 22 - Rudyard School
Precinct 23 - Inverness School
Precinct 25 (Wildhorse and St. Joe) - Wildhorse Seeds building, north of Havre
Precinct 28 - Old Stone Child College gymnasium, Rocky Boy Agency