Posted: Nov 12, 2012 4:01 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
Updated: Nov 12, 2012 4:10 PM
HELENA - In Montana there are still more than 5,000 ballots that are not yet counted.
According to state law, a voter whose identity or eligibility to vote has not been verified can cast a provisional ballot.
These ballots are not counted on Election Day but instead will be counted this week.
In total, voters cast 5,321 provisional ballots this election.
Gallatin and Missoula counties had the largest number of provisional ballots. Missoula County had 1,900. Gallatin had 780.
Meanwhile, Silver Bow has 142. Lewis and Clark has 247.
The non-profit organization Forward Montana specifically targets young people and works to get them engaged in the political process. Its executive director Andrea Marcoccio says because college students are largely a transient population many of the provisional ballots in these two counties could be attributed to the major college campuses.
This year Forward Montana registered more than 11,000 young people.
"Young people haven't built the habit of voting, maybe they are 17, maybe they know it's important, but they haven't had the chance or opportunity to vote yet. So for Forward Montana, we want to make sure that young people know how powerful their voice can be," Marcoccio said.
Marcoccio says all provisional ballots can't be attributed to college students. But, she says, the youth vote is a critical voting block and made a huge impact on the results of this year's election.
By law, counties can start counting the provisional ballots on Tuesday, Nov. 13 and they must have all the votes tallied by mid-November.