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HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montanans have cast a record number of votes in this year's general election. According to the Secretary of State's Office, just over 529,000 absentee ballots had been received by county election offices by late Monday afternoon. That's nearly 12,300 more than were counted in the 2016 general election. Most people are voting by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic. Republicans are trying to regain the governor's post for the first time in 16 years while the battle between Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and his Democratic challenger, Gov. Steve Bullock, could help shape the majority in the U.S. Senate. Larger counties started counting mail-in ballots on Monday under a law passed by the 2019 Legislature.

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