Flathead County Coverage

Nov 7, 2012 12:21 AM by Tiffany Murphy, Laura Wilson - KAJ News

Long lines, late night for Flathead County voting

KALISPELL - It could be a late night for many election workers tabulating the results in Flathead County, where residents waited in long lines to cast their ballot. And in Kila, they even ran out of ballots for a brief time.

Record numbers of voters turned out, meaning that the votes were still being tabulated late Tuesday night.

One of the most watched races in the Flathead is District 1, to fill the seat of the late Jim Dupont who passed away this year. Since his passing, an interim county commissioner was nominated and sworn in.

The race is between Republican Cal Scott and democrat Gil Jordan, and the winner of this election will fill out the rest of Dupont's term, which expires at the end of 2014, in November.

Meanwhile in District 3, Republican Gary Krueger and Democrat Clara Mears-LaChappelle are squaring off.

The polls normally close at 8 p.m., but there was still a long line at the Flathead County Fairgrounds because the county was allowing anyone who got into line before 8 p.m. to go inside and vote.

Voters reportedly formed a line around the corner of the Flathead County Trade Center before polls even opened Tuesday morning.

Unregistered voters had an even longer line, some waiting for nearly four hours to get registered and vote.

Election volunteers say the lines have been longer than anything they've seen on the past few election days.

"I've never been in this type of a line before, this is extraordinary. I look at the crowd and there's a lot of young 18-19 year olds, there's a lot of older folks- it's a big election. I'm happy to see everyone here to vote and I really appreciate the county doing this," Mike Klinkhammer, who was second to last in line said.

"I just moved here and it's especially important for me. Even though this state isn't as liberal as the one that I came from, every vote counts," first time voter Zach Hartzell told us.

We are not seeing any preliminary Flathead race numbers, and officials say that with the late polling, final results likely won't be available until early Wednesday morning.

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