The Billings Outpost

Long lines delay count

By ALLISON CONNELL - AARON CURTIS - and KYLE SCHMAUCH - UM School of Journalism - Montana Public Media

Officials in Montana’s most populous counties were reporting heavy turnout Tuesday night, with long lines of waiting voters and those still hoping to register. In some places, officials predicted people were voting long after the polls closed.

That was the story in Cascade, Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, Yellowstone and Flathead counties.

Ross Cavosos, a volunteer at the Yellowstone County office, said late Tuesdays afternoon that the turnout in Montana’s largest county was overwhelming.

“Everyone is surprised we have so many people trying to vote,” he said, adding that many of those in line appeared to be young voters. He said some would-be voters waited three and a half hours for late registration and he expected lines to remain long for most of the evening.

Across the state in Missoula, county election official Anne Hughes reported a strong turnout, which meant long lines for some hoping to register and vote.

“We always hope for a high turnout, even if that means a crazier time for us,” she said.

In Bozeman, a local TV station reported that some polling places had run out of ballots.

Heavy voting was the trend in Flathead and Cascade counties too. Flathead County elections supervisor Monica Eisenzimer said officials there expect to see their last voter vote an hour or two after the polls close.

Shantell McGraw from the Cascade office said doors may close at 8 tonight, but the voters could be casting ballots after 10.

“We have a crazy amount of people in here, probably about 200 people in late registration line right now,” said McGraw.

Copyright 2012 Wild Raspberry Inc.

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