GRANITE COUNTY – Election Day is just two weeks away. But don’t fill out your absentee ballot or head into the voting booth without being fully informed and prepared to cast your ballot accurately.
Beginning October 30, the Flint Creek Courier (FCC) will run a series of articles with documents or links to vital voting information about candidates and issues. The FCC will endeavor to make these links as party neutral as possible.
Perhaps the biggest thing you’ll need to know is how to accurately fill out your ballot, especially if you’re planning to write in any candidates. In Granite County this year there is at least one write-in candidate that is actively campaigning for the District 3 seat on the Granite County Commission in Wayne Hale. Hale, an Independent, is running against Republican George Hinkle and the Independent incumbent Bart Bonney.
Hinkle and Bonney will be listed on your ballot, but if Hale is your desired choice then you must to do two things to cast your vote for him. First, you’ll need to color in the circle next to the blank line in the County Commissioner’s box and then write in his name. Only votes with BOTH of these indicators marked properly will get Hale your vote. Hale has a huge hill to climb if he is to win a seat on the commission. The last write-in candidate winner that people seem to be able to recall is Don Dee Kennedy for Sheriff in 1990. A view of the records at the county seat show that he was defeated by Charlie Muchmore in the Democratic Primary in June of that year, but Muchmore pulled out of the race just prior to the election. That decision left his name on the ballot, but created a situation where Kennedy was able to gain votes as a write-in at the general election. Kennedy ended up beating Maury Craven by about 200 votes, running even with the Republican in the Philipsburg area but earning a 2-to-1 margin in the Drummond and Hall precincts.
The only other contested post in this election is for the Montana State Representative District 77 seat. Among the three candidates hoping to replace incumbent Kathy Swanson are Mark Sweeney (D), Richard Motta (L) and Heather Blom (R).