Elections in Great Falls for 2023: Everything You Need to Know (Almost)

School Election

There are currently three, three-year term seats on the District School Board that are expiring. Individuals who are interested in running must file a DECLARATION OF INTENT AND OATH OF CANDIDACY FOR TRUSTEE CANDIDATES with the County Elections Office. This office is located at 325 2nd Ave North, Great Falls. The filing date to do this is December 8, 2022 through March 23, 2023. Candidates must report campaign expenditures to the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices.

The Board of Trustees for School District No. 1 & A, Cascade County, State of Montana, will hold the Annual Regular School Election on Tuesday, May 2, 2023. The election will be conducted by: UNKNOWN. Absentee ballots will be mailed by April 17, 2023, as reported on March 21, 2023 by the Cascade County Clerk & Recorder. Since approximately 87% of voters in Great Falls vote by absentee ballot, it is UNKNOWN currently whether others will also be sent a ballot. State law requires the election administer to mail ballots to any voter who requested to be placed on the absentee list. The county was recently reminded of this by the Montana Secretary of State’s office. Stay tuned.

There are no levy issues on the ballot this year. This is a non-partisan race.

Voter registration for this election will close on April 3, 2023, with late voter registration starting the next day. Don’t wait, as the chance to register is subject to change at any given time.

Great Falls Public Library Mill Levy Election

After a public hearing in front of the Great Falls City Commission on February 21, 2023, they voted to hold the election on June 6, 2023. It would normally be a mail election, however the status of this is UNKNOWN because the Cascade County Clerk & Recorder said she would be unable to mail out ballots for the election. Stay tuned for this election also.

City Municipal Election

Great Falls residents who are interested in becoming more involved with their local government are encouraged to consider running for elected office. A Mail Ballot election is scheduled, but the status of any ballots by mail in the county is currently UNKNOWN.

Qualified electors interested in filing can do so April 20, 2023 through June 19, 2023, by completing a Declaration for Nomination and Oath of Candidacy form at the Cascade County Election Office (325 2nd Ave N). The last date to file as a write-in candidate is July 10, 2023.

Positions for elected office include one (1) Mayor for a two-year term, two (2) City Commissioners for four-year terms, AND forty-five (45) Neighborhood Council representatives for two-year terms. The terms of Mayor Kelly, Commissioners Hinebauch and Tryon, Neighborhood Council members, and Judge Bolstad expire at the end of this year. New this year will be the election of a second Municipal Court Judge position for Department B for an initial two-year term.

No filing fees are required for the Neighborhood Council members, but a Declaration for Nomination and Oath of Candidacy Form must be submitted to the Cascade County’s Election office by June 19, 2023.

City Commission

The mayor shall be elected for a term of two years.  The mayor shall meet all requirements and qualifications for election to the office of city commissioner.  Mayoral candidates shall be qualified electors in the City of Great Falls, be at least 21 years old, be a resident of Montana for at least three years, and be a resident of Great Falls for at least two years preceding the election. City Commissioner candidates shall be qualified electors of the City of Great Falls, and be residents of Great Falls for at least 60 days preceding the election.

Neighborhood Councils

The councils shall act in an advisory capacity to the City Commission, the City Manager and to other City advisory bodies, and may contribute information, opinions, advice, suggestions and recommendations to the City Commission, City Manager and other City advisory bodies on all governmental affairs and services having an effect on the area the neighborhood council represents, including, but not limited to, public finance, public works, public safety, planning and zoning, and public health and sanitation. Composition of Councils, Election: There are nine (9) neighborhood council districts within the City of Great Falls. The residents of a district shall comprise the electorate for that district. Each district shall have a council comprised of five (5) members, elected to a two (2) year term at the election held in conjunction with the City’s general election. Nominees for election to a neighborhood council must be residents of their designated neighborhood district, and must be qualified electors.

Additional Dates

The election is scheduled for November 7, 2023. The status of ballots being mailed is UNKNOWN, but they are supposed to be mailed out from October 18, 2023 to October 23, 2023. If a primary race is required (there are three or more candidates for Mayor, and/or five or more candidates for City Commissioner), the primary election will be held on September 12, 2023. Again, the status of ballots being mailed out is unknown, but they are supposed to be mailed from August 23, 2023 to August 28, 2023. All newly elected officials will take office in January, 2024.

Below you will find more information and the form to file for the municipal election. All city municipal races are non-partisan.

Political Signs

• Sign Permit – Election related political signs are exempt from the sign permit requirement.  However, signage must be in compliance with City Codes in all other respects.
• Size – Political signs may be no larger than 16 sq. feet in area and four feet in height.
• Time – Signs may be placed no earlier than 60 days prior to any election.  Signs must be removed within seven consecutive days after an election.  
• Where/Setbacks – Signage may be placed on private property with the owner’s permission.  The sign must be placed at least 12 feet from the back of the curb.  Vehicular and pedestrian sight distances must be unobstructed.  Signage is not allowed on public property, in City boulevards, on boulevard trees, utility poles, street lights or signs, traffic poles or other public property.

NOTE: As more information is released, this page will be updated.

Categories: Elections

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