Absentee ballots will be mailed out for the June primary this Friday, but eager voters that want to get ahead of the curve can get their ballots now. Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch says she voted at 9 a.m. yesterday morning, and she seemed pretty confident that she may have been the first voter in the state.

"I was the first voter in Lewis and Clark County, and I think the first voter in the entire state," McCulloch said. "I like to draw attention to the fact that absentee voting starts today, so people who signed up for absentee ballots won't get their ballots until Friday, but you can go into the county office or the place designated by the county to vote absentee today."

McCulloch has been a big promoter of absentee voting since she took office, almost eight years ago. She says attitudes towards absentee voting have changed a lot.

"In 2014, we had about 60 percent vote absentee in the general election and that is up from about 10 percent in 2000, the first year when you didn't need an excuse to vote absentee," McCulloch said. "Some of the counties vote absentee much more than others, Yellowstone County is about 90 percent absentee."

The absentee voter list isn’t permanent and must be renewed every two years. Missoula area voters can expect to see ballots in their mailboxes sometime between Saturday and Monday.

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