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Ballots were sent to Gallatin County voters Friday for the June 7 primary.

The Gallatin County Elections Office mailed 58,319 ballots to active registered absentee voters, or about 81% of registered voters in the county. Ballots should arrive in mailboxes in the coming days, according to a release from the county.

Eric Semerad, Gallatin County elections administrator, said that ballots will only be mailed to absentee voters for the primary, unlike the school and special district election that was conducted entirely by mail.

Voters will receive two ballots separated by party. Voters will have to choose one ballot, either Democratic or Republican, to fill out and return to the elections office.

Both ballots will offer choices on a variety of offices, including Democratic and Republican candidates for Montana’s newly formed western congressional district, county offices like sheriff and commissioner, and positions in the Montana Supreme Court, district court and justice court.

The race for county attorney is set to have a contested Democratic primary between Deputy County Attorney Bjorn Boyer and Audrey Cromwell. Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert is running again to retain his seat.

Primaries for legislative districts in the county are also on both ballots. Few of those races will have contested primaries.

The lone contested Democratic legislative primary features Michelle Vered and Alanah Griffith battling for House District 64. The seat is held by Republican incumbent Jane Gillette, who filed for reelection.

Three Republican primary contests will be decided on June 7.

Shelley Vance is running against Bryan Haysom for Senate District 34. Vance’s husband, Gordy, has termed out. Damion Lynn, a Democrat, is also running for the seat.

James Cocco and Ryan Eisele are running for House District 65. Incumbent Democratic Rep. Kelly Kortum is also running for reelection.

Former legislator Bruce Grubbs and Rep. Caleb Hinkle will have a rematch of their 2020 primary battle for House District 68. Joe Hancock, a Democrat, is also running for the seat.

A handful of nonpartisan races will appear on both ballots — primaries for two district court seats in the county, justice of the peace and two Montana Supreme Court seats.

A pair of questions on whether people in the county want to increase the sales tax on medical and recreational marijuana by 3% will be on both ballots.

Should either pass, the tax increase would become effective Oct. 1.

Ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

People who want to vote in-person can do so at 11 locations in the county. Polling places open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Polling place locations include: the Bridger Canyon Fire Station, the Gallatin County Fairgrounds, Hope Lutheran Church, Povah Community Center, the Big Sky Water & Sewer District Office, the Gallatin Gateway Community Center, the Belgrade Special Events Center, River Rock Community Center, Three Forks High School, Manhattan Christian School and Manhattan High School.

Late registration for the primary election began this week. People can register or update their voter registration in person at the Gallatin County Elections office at the Gallatin County Courthouse on 311 W. Main St in Bozeman.

People can register from now through Election Day.

In early April, a district court judge temporarily blocked four election laws passed by the 2021 Montana Legislature. The order allowed Election Day voter registration and for people to use student IDs as the only means of identification at polling places to continue.

Christi Jacobsen, the Montana Secretary of State, has since requested the Montana Supreme Court to end the temporary order.

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Alex Miller is the county and state government reporter and can be reached at amiller@dailychronicle.com or by phone at 406-582-2648.

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