The primary election is set for Tuesday, and although — outside of state and national races — few primaries are contested in Hill County, several races still need voters to decide who will proceed to the general election.
The polls will be open in Hill County from 7 a. m. to 8 p. m., and Hill County Clerk and Recorder Darla Dahl reminded voters that any absentee ballots must be in the office in the Hill County Courthouse before 8 p. m. Tuesday to be counted.
Ballots postmarked early enough but not in the office by the voting deadline will not be counted. Dahl said people need to bring them into the office if they have any question that they will be in in time.
The polling places for Hill County are in Havre High School, Havre Middle School, Lincoln-McKinley Primary School, the District IV HRDC building, US Bank, Hill County Electric, the Hi-Line Community Center in Hingham, Box Elder School in Box Elder, and the Chippewa Cree Wellness Center at the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.
Dahl said people can go online or call her office at 265-5481, ext. 221, or go online to find out in what precinct they live and where their polling place is, as well as if they are registered to vote and in which Senate and House districts they live.
That information is available online at “My Voter Page” at the Hill County Clerk and Recorder’s page of the Hill County website at http://hillcounty.us and at the Secretary of State’s website at http://sos.mt.gov/.
Dahl said people who are not registered can register and vote at her office until Tuesday at 8 p. m. Late-registered voters must vote in the Clerk and Recorder’s office.
In Havre, only four local primary elections are contested, one Republican and three Democratic.
In the race for state Senate District 17, in Blaine and Hill Counties, Republicans Don Richman and Douglas Stuart, both of Harlem, are facing off their party’s nomination.
Democrat Greg Jergeson is unopposed in his race for that seat.
In Senate District 16, stretching from Chouteau and Hill counties to Roosevelt County, incumbent Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, faces the former holder of that seat, Rep. Frank Smith D-Poplar. No Republican has filed in that race.
In the western half of that district, House District 32, incumbent Rep. Tony Belcourt, D-Box Elder, faces challenger Clarena Brockie of Hays, the dean of student affairs at the college at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. No Republicans have filed in that race.
The other contested race is the Democratic primary for the Hill County Commission seat up for re-election. Hill County farmer Mark Peterson and Hill County Road and Bridge office manager Deborah Walker are the candidates in that race.
Republican commissioner candidate Debi Rhines is unopposed.
Commissioner Kathy Bessette, a Democrat, is not running for re-election.
Hill County Clerk of Court Dena Tippets, a Democrat, is unopposed in the primary and general election, as is incumbent Hill County Superintendent of Schools Diane McLean, who is running as an independent.
The most contested local primary is in Chouteau County, where four Republicans have filed in the race to take the seat being vacated by incumbent Jim O’Hara, who is on the Republican ballot Tuesday for governor.
The Republican candidates in the race are William K. Courtnage, Robert J. Pasha, Wilson “Bill” C. Zanto, Terry DeBorde and Mary Lou Tweet.
The winner of that race will face independent Kenneth Engellant, who is unopposed and will not be on the primary ballot.
Incumbent Republican Rick Cook is running unopposed for combined position of Chouteau County clerk of court, superintendent of public schools and county surveyor.
No other local races have contested primaries.
In House District 33 in Hill County, Rep. Kris Hansen, R-Havre, is unopposed as is her challenger, Havre Democrat Brenda Skornogoski.
Incumbent Rep. Wendy Warburton, R-Havre, and Havre Democrat Karen Sloan are unopposed in the primary for House District 34 in northern Blaine and Hill counties.
In the race for House District 29, which includes eastern Chouteau and Judith Basin and western Fergus counties, incumbent Rep. Ryan Osmundson, R-Buffalo, faces Democratic challenger Todd Lark of Lewistown. Both are are unopposed in the primary
Incumbent Rep. Roy Hollandsworth, R-Brady, is unopposed for re-election to House District 28, which includes western Chouteau, Liberty and northeastern Toole counties.
The other local county races have incumbents running unopposed for re-election, including Blaine County Commissioner Vic Miller, Blaine County Clerk of Court Kay O’Brien Johnson, both Democrats, and Republican Liberty County Commissioner Larry Hendrickson and Liberty County Clerk of Court Anne Seidlitz Melton, a Democrat.