After the incident in Bozeman yesterday in which Republican candidate Greg Gianforte was cited for assaulting a reporter, those who wanted to change their absentee ballot are too late.

This reporter visited the Missoula County Courthouse where two individuals who were assisting voters said not a single person had asked them if they could change their vote, although staff at the fairgrounds did receive a number of such requests.

Missoula Elections Coordinator Rebecca Connors said at 3:00 p.m. on election day that absentee ballots cannot be changed once they have been mailed in.

"In Montana, we have a paper trail for our ballots, so once that ballot has been accepted, it's pretty much like putting your ballot into a precinct tabulator at your polling place, and it's beyond the point of no return," Connors said. "69 percent of people voted via absentee ballot this year, and we're expecting less than 20 percent at our polling places. In last November's Presidential election, we had less than 19 percent turnout at the polling places. We're expecting about 70 percent turnout in absentee ballots, whereas in November of 2016 we had 97 percent absentee turnout."

Only those who have not yet registered to vote are allowed to register up until the polls close at 8:00 p.m. at the fairgrounds. All registered voters must cast their ballots at their polling places. Visit the My Voter page to find out where your polling place is, because some have been moved due to various other activities.

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