A long and noisy campaign season is coming to an end with polls opening in the 2012 election at 7 Tuesday morning.
Blaine and Hill county voters have a slew of legislative races as well as statewide and national races headlined by the contentious race between Democratic President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
In Havre, voters will cast their ballots, depending on their precinct, at Havre High School in the gymnasium, the Havre Middle School gym, the Lincoln-McKinley Primary School gym, the Human Resources Development Council building on the south edge of Havre, US Bank on the 200 Block of 1st Street, or at the Hill County Electric Cooperative offices.
Other Hill County polling places are at the Hi-Line Community Center in Hingham, the Box Elder Elementary School and the Chippewa Cree Wellness Center gym in Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.
In Blaine County, several polling places are in the Chinook High School, including precincts 10 for south Chinook, 11 for Chinook and 13 for north Chinook.
Other Blaine County polls are for Precinct 15, Hays, in the John Capture Center; 8, Harlem, in Harlem High School; 3 for Fort Belknap and 9 for south Harlem at the Sacred Heart Church, and Precinct 1, Turner at the Turner school
The Turner polls will be open from noon to to 8 p. m. All other Blaine County polls will be open 7 a. m. to 8 p. m.
The top of the ticket will be the presidential race, headlined by Obama and Romney and including Gary Johnson on the Libertarian ticket; but the U. S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Jon Tester and Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, which includes Libertarian Dan Cox, has received almost as much attention.
Bozeman Republican businessman Steve Daines faces Democratic state Sen. Kim Gillan in the race to take Rehberg’s seat in the U. S. House, with Libertarian David Kaiser also in that race.
Statewide, Attorney General Steve Bullock, a Democrat, faces Republican Rick Hill, a former U. S. representative, and Libertarian Ron Vandevender in the race for Montana governor. Democrat Brian Schweitzer cannot run for re-election due to term limits.
In the race to fill Bullock’s spot as attorney general, Republican Tim Fox faces Democrat Pam Bucy.
The other statewide races have incumbent Democrats facing Republican challengers.
Secretary of State Linda McCulloch is in a rematch with Brad Johnson, whom McCulloch beat in his re-election bid in 2008, with Libertarian Roger Roots also in the race. Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau faces Whitefish-area challenger Sandy Welch, and Auditor Monica Lindeen faces state legislator Derek Skees of Whitefish.
In legislative races, Rep. Wendy Warburton, R-Chinook, faces Democrat Karen Sloan in Warburton’s bid for a third term in the House. Rep. Kris Hansen, R-Havre, faces Democrat Brenda Skornogoski in her bid for a second term.
Republican Don Richman faces former senator and Public Service Commission chair Greg Jergeson in the race to take the seat now held by Havre Republican Craig Tilleman.
Tilleman, who was appointed to take the place of Sen. Rowlie Hutten, R-Havre, after Hutton resigned at the end of his first legislative session, withdrew his candidacy before the primary election.
People can check their precinct and polling place, as well as look at a sample ballot for their precinct, online at the Secretary of State website under “My Voter Page” at http://sos.mt.gov/Elections.