In a significant development ahead of the 2024 elections, Montana is witnessing a redrawing of precinct lines for legislative races for the first time in a decade. This adjustment is a consequence of substantial changes in House and Senate district boundaries, prompting counties to meticulously redraw precincts. Connor Fitzpatrick, the elections supervisor for Lewis and Clark County, emphasized the extensive effort required in this process, acknowledging the pivotal role played by the GIS department.
Precincts, fundamental geographical units for elections, align with legislative district lines to ensure that voters within a precinct participate in the same races. Additionally, precincts determine the designated polling places for voters. Lewis and Clark County election officials plan to dispatch updated voter confirmation cards next week, incorporating revised precinct and polling place information.
Fitzpatrick highlighted the importance of assisting polling place voters, constituting 20% of Lewis and Clark County’s electorate, in locating their designated places on Election Day, especially in a presidential election. The county aims to minimize disruptions for voters, keeping polling places consistent where possible. However, changes may necessitate adjustments for some voters, even if they continue voting at familiar locations like the Helena Civic Center or the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds.
Voters will receive confirmation cards indicating their updated election precinct and polling place information. Fitzpatrick urged recipients to verify the accuracy of their registration details and promptly update any necessary information. For those receiving cards for voters who no longer reside at the stated address, Fitzpatrick emphasized the importance of marking “Return to Sender” and sending them back. This process ensures the accuracy of voter rolls and requires thorough follow-up procedures.
Fitzpatrick acknowledged the necessity of adhering to procedural diligence and urged cooperation from the public in returning cards promptly. The emphasis on maintaining clean voter rolls underlines the meticulous approach required in this period of electoral transition.