By: Dennis Bragg
HAMILTON – The 2022 special election season is already well underway. But the echoes of 2020 continue and are now being heard in our local courthouses and they’re informing election policy in the Bitterroot.
For nearly 18-months skepticism over the 2020 election results has been the focus of debate for some conservative voters. Now those fears are finding their way to the courthouse.
Last week, Ravalli County leaders defended election integrity, but also entertained the idea of asking the Secretary of State for permission to do audits of local elections, in addition to the state and federal spot checks done by the state.
“It’s not that I’m afraid of doing this guys,” Elections Administrator Regina Plettenberg told the voters. “It’s just that I’m being advised by attorneys, by the Secretary of State, it’s just not allowed under current statute.”
Deputy County Attorney Clay Leland believes it could be allowed if the Secretary of State would make a rule change.
“If they aren’t willing to allow a county to expand, simply expand on do more than is required then it really raises the question of what are they hiding?”
But Friday’s discussion went deeper into broader concerns over the use of voting tabulation machines.
“Because the technology today is so sharp that they can do anything to us. And we are naive enough to think that just by doing an audit that we’re going to catch the criminals,” Stevensville voter Terri Lackey told the commissioners as tears welled in her eyes.
“I’m a Montana native and I don’t want to see Montana turn blue. I don’t want to lose my gun rights and my conservative way of life. And it’s a simple thing. We’re just asking you to get rid of the machines. Just do a hand count. Please!” Lackey continued.
Another voter wearing a USA hat agreed.
“Where are the rights being removed? And we need to go back to there and we need to nullify unconstitutional laws.”
You can read the full story here.