NewsGreat Falls News


Great Falls school board election is on Tuesday

Posted at 6:04 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 21:03:12-04

GREAT FALLS — Preparations are being made for the closing of the Great Falls School Board election on May 3.

Officials are surprised with how few ballots they’ve received so far, given it’s the most candidates they’ve seen on a ballot in recent history.

Cascade County Clerk & Recorder Rina Moore says they sent out about 36,000 ballots and have gotten less than a third of them back.

“I’m not sure if it’s just a low turnout this year or if a lot of people are dropping them off for the last day… We just hope people make informed decisions before they drop the ballots off,” Moore said.

This year has the most candidates on the ballot in recent history - 11 people, seeking either a one- or three-year term.

There are several laws held up in court regarding elections but for now, you can still show up and have a same-day registration and vote.

“If you have not received your ballot in the mail, we can reissue a ballot for you. If you’ve moved and your ballot could possibly be undeliverable, then come on down here and we can get that taken care of,” Moore said.

If you’re wondering where to go, ballots may be dropped off at the Exhibition Hall at the Montana ExpoPark, or at the elections office downtown at 325 2nd Avenue North. Both locations will be open until 8 pm on Tuesday.

Another commonly asked question has been whether a person can drop off other peoples’ ballots for them - this year you are allowed to do so.

“In Montana you can still do that. That’s another thing that’s been upheld by the courts. That was upheld in 2020. So you can bring in somebody else’s ballot, you don’t have to sign any forms, you don’t have to tell us whose ballot you have. You can just bring them in and drop them off.”

The following four seats are up for election:

  • Three seats that represent both elementary and secondary districts on the board for three years, until May, 2025. Anyone interested in these positions must live within the Great Falls Public School District boundary. The positions are currently held by Mark Finnicum, Jeff Gray, and Gordon Johnson.
  • One seat, a one-year position, will fill out the remainder of Jan Cahill’s term. Nathan Reiff was appointed by the Board to fill Jan Cahill’s open position until the next regular election.

Great Falls Public School trustees are unpaid volunteer positions. There are seven trustees on the Great Falls Public School Board. The seven seats represent both the elementary and secondary districts.