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Ballot confusion in Missoula due to clerical error

By Matt Gray, Meteorologist/Reporter, mgray@keci.com
Published On: Oct 30 2013 06:03:58 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 30 2013 10:17:00 PM MDT
wrong ballot

The incorrect ballot sent to Hintz.

MISSOULA, Mont. -

A clerical error caused confusion for a handful of Missoula County voters.

Elmer Hintz and his wife live along River Road in Missoula, just off of Reserve Street. However, their home as well as several other homes on River Road are not technically in the city of Missoula. The city limits go right up to the edge of Hintz's property. Because of this, Hintz and his neighbors are not eligible to vote for municipal candidates in next Tuesday's elections. The ballot Hintz received last week said differently.

It was a full municipal ballot, with mayoral, judicial, and city commissioner candidates dotting the page. Hintz called his neighbor across the street and found the same situation. Hintz called Missoula County Elections after confirming he was still outside the city limits, but the answer was not one he expected.

"She said 'If you've got the ballot, just mail it in,'" he told us.

Wednesday, Missoula County Clerk and Recorder/Treasurer Vickie Zeier says the issue has been resolved. She condemned the response Hintz received on the phone. A clerical error had accidentally put Hintz and his neighbor inside the city limits.

Redistricting of municipal precincts this year meant updating the databases and opening the door for errors like this one.

Zeier stated that the correct ballots are being mailed. Hintz and his neighbor are in the Missoula Urban Transportation District, and are eligible to vote on the mill levy next Tuesday.