Havre Daily News
Early indications, including a large number of absentee ballots submitted to election officials, suggest a large turnout of voters for Tuesday's Havre city election.
Voters will pick Havre's mayor, city judge and four City Council members.
The race for mayor, between Republican incumbent Bob Rice and Democratic City Council member Pam Hillery, is attracting a lot of attention. Friday's edition of the Havre Daily News included a page and a half of letters to the editor about the upcoming election, and many focused on the mayoral race.
Absentee voting is about 10 times heavier than it was for September's primary election, Hill County deputy election administrator Betty Williams said today.
“Usually that's an indication that (voter turnout) will be pretty good,” Williams said.
Williams said the Hill County Clerk and Recorder's Office had issued 318 absentee ballots and received 286 back as of this morning. The office issued 30 ballots before the September primary, she said.
“Usually when there's a mayor or a city judge on the ballot, you get more interest,” Williams said.
Polling places will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday and close at 8 p.m. Absentee voting closes at noon today.
In the citywide nonpartisan race for city judge, incumbent Joyce Perszyk faces challenger Rozan Kerr.
In Ward 4, Democratic incumbent Allen “Woody” Woodwick faces Republican Shane Ford. Voters in the northern and eastern sections of the city vote at Lincoln-McKinley Primary School.
In Ward 3, Republican Bob Kaftan faces Democrat Bob Kaul. South-central Havre residents cast their votes at the Montana State University-Northern Student Union Building.
Ward 2 Havre City Council member Terry Schend, a Republican, is running unopposed for re-election. Residents of Ward 2, in the southwestern portion of the city, can vote at Highland Park Early Primary School library.
In Ward 1, Democrat Gerry Veis is running unopposed. Veis defeated Dave Brewer in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary. Voters in southeastern Havre can vote in the Havre High School gym.
In September's primary election, 13 percent of registered voters cast votes, Williams said. In the 2003 general election, when voters elected City Council members, turnout was 38 percent. In the 2001 general election, the last time Havre voters elected a mayor, turnout was 57 percent.
The Hill County Clerk and Recorder's Office said voters must bring identification with them when voting. Under a new state law that took effect Oct. 1, inactive voters may reactivate at their polling place and vote in Tuesday's election.
Voters may contact the Clerk and Recorder's Office to verify their registration status or find out their ward and polling place. The number is 265-5481, ext. 221, 222 or 223.