LIBBY - Lincoln County has had to resort to counting all of the ballots cast in Tuesday's primary election by hand.
The manual count is underway because the ballots were cut too short and will not work in the automatic counting machines.
Elections officials note this will delay the election results, and they hope to have all of the ballots counted by Friday.
The results could make a difference in the close race in the Republican primary for the House District 1 race.
Unofficial results from the Montana Secretary of State’s Office late Wednesday morning showed the two leading candidates in a neck-and-neck race: Ryan Zinke with 41% of the vote, and Al Olszewski with 40%.
The Democratic winner for the western district was Monica Tranel, a Missoula lawyer.
In the primary election for House District 2 (eastern Montana), Matt Rosendale won the GOP primary, and Penny Ronning won the Democratic primary. Also on the November ballot for House District 2 will an Independent candidate, Gary Buchanan.
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