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Voters go to the polls for Havre primary


A total of 10 candidates will be on the ballots in Tuesday's primary election for the Havre City Council.

In the only contested race, Democrats Gerry Veis and Pam Hillery are running in Ward 1. The winner of that race will face Republican Russ Luke in the general election on Nov. 4.

The winner of the general election will take the seat now held by Democrat Doug Larson, who did not file for re-election.

In Ward 2, voters will see a repeat of the race of two years ago, with incumbent Rick Pierson seeking the Democratic nomination and Jerry Hanson running on the Republican ballot. In November they will vie for a four-year seat.

The general election race between Hanson and Pierson in 2001 was declared a tie and the Havre City Council appointed Pierson to a two-year term.

Pierson was originally declared the winner by a vote of 293-292. Several days later, a recount showed that Hanson had actually won the election by the same one-vote margin. Further inspection revealed that three of the ballots lacked the official stamp of approval administered by election judges, thereby nullifying those votes and making the election a 291-291 tie. That left the decision up to the City Council.

Also on the ballot in Ward 2 Tuesday are Democrat Gary LaValley and Republican Terry Schend, running for a two-year seat.

The other incumbent in that ward, Republican Gary Schubert, did not file for re-election.

On the ballot for the four-year term in Ward 3 will be Republican Debi Rhines, who is Terry Schend's daughter, and incumbent Democrat Jack Brandon.

In Ward 4, incumbent Emily Mayer, a Democrat, is running unopposed for a four-year seat. There is no Republican on the ballot in Ward 4.

Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Polling places will be at the Havre High School library for Ward 1; Highland Park Early Primary School for Ward 2; the Montana State University-Northern Student Union Building for Ward 3; and Lincoln-McKinley Primary School in Ward 4.

Hill County deputy election administrator Betty Williams said voters are asked to bring a photo ID, or, if none is available, another form of identification that has the voter's current address, like a current bank statement or paycheck.

Williams said IDs are required under the 2002 Help America Vote Act. The law does not go into effect until January 2004, she said, but the county would like to get people used to bringing ID to the polling place with them before then.

Absentee ballots for the Havre primary must be turned in by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

The only other area election Tuesday is on whether to create a Rudyard water and sewer district. Mailed ballots for that election must be returned to the Clerk and Recorder's Office by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Anyone with questions can contact the Clerk and Recorder's Office at 265-5481, ext. 221 or 222.


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