- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana election officials have received completed absentee ballots from nearly 64 percent of the voters who received them.

Secretary of State spokeswoman Blair Fjeseth (FEE’-ess-et) says 155,533 out of the 243,495 requested absentee ballots had been turned in as of Thursday morning, five days before Tuesday’s midterm elections.

The requested ballots represent more than a third of the state’s 671,224 registered voters.

Strong absentee returns could boost the overall turnout.

Secretary of State Linda McCulloch tells Lee Newspapers of Montana that midterm elections usually mean lower turnouts than presidential elections. She says turnout this year will likely be comparable to 2010, when 56 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

Absentee ballot returns are highest so far in Golden Valley County and lowest in Petroleum County.

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