Remember the 5th of November

Municipal general elections in Madison County

The 2019 municipal general election ballots were mailed to all qualified voters in Ennis, Virginia City and Twin Bridges Oct. 18. Sheridan’s elections are canceled because seats that are eligible for reelection are uncontested. 

Residents of these towns who are not currently registered to vote can go to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office at 103 West Wallace Street in Virginia City until Nov. 5 to register. The election ballots will be accepted through the mail or by dropping them off at the Clerk and Recorder’s Office. There is no polling place for Madison County’s 2019 municipal general elections.

In Ennis, two town council seats are up for reelection. Incumbents, John Bancroft and Cory Hardy are running against Carl W. Kautz and Kristy Wright Ranson. 

Twin Bridges will be voting on three town council seats for the 2019 municipal general elections. James “JB” Klyap took over Annette Mclean’s town council seat in the middle of her term and though it is an unexpired term, the town will vote whether to keep Klyap in the seat. Joe Willauer’s and Scott Holbrook’s terms have expired. Jordan High joins the incumbents on the ballot. Two of the three individuals will hold  those town council seats in 2020. 

Virginia City voters are voting on a 1 percent increase in their resort tax. If voted for, the revenue from the increase would go toward purchasing the Central Parking Lot. Virginia City currently leases the parking lot from the owner and is in its final 2-year lease, which ends May 31, 2021. The town, Virginia City Chamber of Commerce, private donations and a grant have raised $125,000 for the parking lot. The town estimates that the 1 percent increase would raise about $35,000 a year and would allow them to purchase the lot in four to five years. After the purchase, the additional 1 percent increase on the resort would be terminated. 

In 2017, the United States Congress passed house bill 447, which authorizes a municipality to cancel a general election for the election of a municipal officer if candidates are uncontested. The current Sheridan town council will remain intact for 2020. 

Voters can register and vote through 8 p.m. on Nov. 5. If dropping off multiple ballots, a form will need to be filled out. A person may collect and convey up to six ballots per election. Montana legislative Referendum 129, approved November 2018, added the Montana Ballot Interference Prevention Act. The Act limits who can collect and convey a ballot belonging to another person to caregivers, family members, household members, or acquaintances. There is a $500 penalty for each ballot unlawfully collected which county attorneys and the Commissioner of Political Practices enforces. 

Check in next week for in-depth local candidate coverage.

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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