Engen Dusting Elder in Initial Missoula County Election Results
As the first results came out at the Missoula County Election Center at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, it was apparent that incumbent Mayor John Engen would serve a fifth term, as the initial results showed Engen with 61 percent of the vote and his challenger, newcomer Jacob Elder garnered only 36.15 percent.
Voter turnout was better than the primary, according to Missoula County Elections Administrator Bradley Seaman.
“So our turnout has been pretty much standard for historical, and we can always do better, but historically we are pretty much spot on,” said Seaman. “Our turnout for this election was 41.388 percent as of right now, so we're still getting ballots in from the drop location and adding them to that total. In the last mayoral election, it was 43.15 percent, so we're really close to that. And I expect that as we get their ballots through tonight, we should match right up with our last mayoral election.”
Seaman also referenced the actual number of ballots received and counted so far.
“The other thing that we're seeing is that this is our first initial set of results, and it shows through that we've processed 33,000 ballots where we've accepted over 36,000 as of 8:00 p.m.” he said. “So we will be adding to each of these totals. Some of those races are real close, and they will be adjusted as we add more ballots in there, but we'll be continuing to update and post them to Missoula Votes dot com as well.”
Seaman was quick to point out that none of the results will be official until the canvass is completed.
“No results are official until that canvass process where we make sure everything's accounted for. We should have our final election night report out tonight, or if for some reason there are a lot of ballots coming in that need to be signature verified then we'll pause the process at midnight and restart at 10 o'clock. On our website, you'll see final election night report if we've wrapped it all up.”
Seaman was upbeat as the first numbers rolled off the printer to be handed out to media and official observers.
“I have loved this election,” he said. “We have a great team here that's really been helping out, and we did a fantastic job of organizing to be prepared and ready to go for Election Day today. Always want more voter returns Peter, and I love that 90 percent return rate we had from 2020, and it's going to be hard to get back up to that. One thing that I'm seeing is that it's been really great. We've done a really good job of trying to help educate people on the late registration changes trying to have drop locations throughout the community so people can get those ballots in. And the only thing we could do better is have a 90% return rate on this election.”
Initial results have in Ward 1 with Jennifer Savage leading Jan Van Fossen 69 to 29 percent. In Ward 2, Jordan Hess was leading Rebecca Dawson 59 to 40 percent. In Ward 3, Dan Carlino and Dori Gilels were in a dead heat at 49 percent. Ward 4 had Mike Nugent with a large lead over Alan Ault 67 to 31 percent. In Ward 5 it was Stacie Anderson with 59 percent to newcomer Bob Campbell at 40 percent. In Ward 6, Kristin Jordan had a comfortable lead over Tom Taylor 71 to 28 percent.
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