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Cascade County Elections Department confirms mailing of absentee ballots

cascade county election department
Posted at 3:59 PM, Apr 17, 2023

There are several key elections coming up in the next few months in Great Falls and Cascade County, and it's been confirmed to MTN news that absentee ballots are being sent out.

Cascade County Clerk & Recorder Sandra Merchant was unavailable for comment, but her employee Deveraux Biddick told MTN News over the phone that absentee ballots are being loaded up in vans and sent out to voters.

They will be sent out to people who are already registered as an absentee voter. If you have not already registered to be an absentee voter, you have until May 1st to visit the elections office at 325 Second Avenue North and register to check your voter status.

You can visit the county website (link) and under the elections category, there's a link where you can check your voter registration status.

Great Falls Public Schools also sent out a memo reminding voters of key dates in the timeline regarding upcoming elections, including the upcoming GFPS Trustee election on May 2nd.

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The next key date highlighted is April 19th, when there will be a GFPS Trustee Candidate Forum at the Great Falls Public Library at 6 p.m.

On April 25th, there will be a public testing of the tabulation machine, which will take place at 2 p.m. inside Exhibition Hall at the fairgrounds.

Pete Fontana and several volunteers from the recently-formed Election Protection Committee stood by on Monday in the Election Office observing and documenting some of the processes underway on the deadline date for mailing the absentee ballots for the Great Falls Public School trustee election.

Fontana said in a news release that voters should open their absentee ballots immediately when they arrive in mailboxes to ensure everything is in order.

Fontana said, “We know absentee envelopes have been handled by multiple people, and each time a ballot is touched by someone there is a chance for human error.”

'Election Protection Committee' concerned about Cascade County elections
'Election Protection Committee' concerned about Cascade County elections

Jane Weber, also a member of the Election Protection Committee, echoed Fontana’s concerns: ”I personally observed some volunteers in the Election Office removing items from envelopes, flipping them over and re-inserting them into pre-stuffed envelopes, a clear sign that some envelopes were originally not stuffed correctly.”

Fontana advised voters if the precinct numbers on your ballot and affirmation envelope are not identical or items are missing, notify the Election Protection Committee know by sending a cell phone photograph of both your envelope and ballot to electionprotection406@gmail.com

Weber further advised that voters contact the Secretary of State’s office at 406-444-2034 to report a problem with their ballot.

Weber added, “Of course, contact Sandra Merchant and let her know so a new ballot can be reissued if your precinct numbers are not a match.”

We will update you as we get more information.


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