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Stapleton meets with Great Falls civic leaders - KRTV.com | Great Falls, Montana

Stapleton meets with Great Falls civic leaders

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Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton visited the Chamber of Commerce in Great Falls Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton visited the Chamber of Commerce in Great Falls
As part of his state-wide “Things That Matter Outreach Tour,” Stapleton met with business leaders in the community at the Chamber on Thursday. As part of his state-wide “Things That Matter Outreach Tour,” Stapleton met with business leaders in the community at the Chamber on Thursday.
GREAT FALLS -

Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton visited the Chamber of Commerce in Great Falls on Thursday to discuss business, but the conversation quickly turned political.

As part of his state-wide “Things That Matter Outreach Tour,” Stapleton met with business leaders in the community at the Chamber on Thursday.

The discussion began by attendees questioning Stapleton's opposition of a mail-ballot only Special Election to replace Congressman Ryan Zinke in the U.S. House.

Great Falls Mayor Bob Kelly spoke out against the cost of the special election and asked Stapleton to provide a rationale for going against the mail-in ballots.

Superintendent Tammy Lacey said that she believes Cascade County has found an effective way of conducting elections, with school elections being done by mail-in ballots and only one polling place.

Stapleton said that while being cautious and conservative is in his political nature, he doesn't believe that just because the election could be done cheaper by mail that it should be.

The secretary said he doesn't think it makes sense, in this day and age when people believe that hacking is a factor in elections, to remove the judges from the process.

He said he wouldn't support an all-mail election now, or in the future.

He firmly believes people should be part of the process, especially when asked where he sees the election process going in the next 100 years with the advance of technology.

"Were not a democracy, we're a republic," said Stapleton. "I'm a defender of that republic and what that means when I say 100 years from now, I still believe we need people. Elections should be a people-intensive enterprise."

The conversation did eventually steer to business, during which the price of liquor licenses was discussed as reason why some business might not locate in Great Falls.

Stapleton says he will consider that feedback.

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