Twice now I've written about the Cascade County Elections Office and the problems it seems to be having running fair elections in our county.

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The first was on March 16.

Then again on April 4.

BOTH TIMES I had people privately get a hold of me and tell me of their experience with Merchant and working in the office with her.  None of it was good.  I wish I could say even one person stuck up for her and her competence and running an office free of stress, but I can't.

A group of Cascade County citizens have formed the Election Protection Committee.  This group is led by former Cascade County Commissioner, Jane Webber and Peter Fontana.  (In fairness, I have to mention that Fontana is brother to former Clerk and Recorder Rina Fontana-Moore who lost to Merchant in the last election by 36 votes.)

This group was formed to protect elections in Cascade County and is calling for Sandra Merchant to resign. (You can sign the petition here.) The group announced themselves on April 12 with a press conference.  They spoke of their concern over Merchant's decision to deviate from the all mail format for upcoming elections, the lack of communication with civic leaders regarding the cost of poll elections and how they would be funded, and the staffing of the election office with individuals that signed a petition in 2022 that called for a ban of mail-in ballots, electronic voting equipment, have ballot turn in day of election only, ONE day to count all the votes and this one is the kicker, purge the Cascade County voter rolls and have everyone RE-REGISTER.

After talking with people who have working knowledge of Sandra Merchant and seeing the way she's running the office, I agree with their concerns.  Here's why:

  • Every article I've read says something to the affect "We reached out for comment and haven't yet received an answer."
  • She says herself she has NO IDEA how much elections will cost or if they can be run.
  • Her staff is full of election deniers and folks who know more people vote when there's mail-in voting and they want to stop it.
  • EVERY SINGLE PERSON working in that office when she took over have since transferred or quit all together.  (That's not a sign of lazy or incompetent workers.  That's the sign of a REALLY bad boss.)
  • Trained election workers have not been contacted, despite Merchant's constant claims she's gotten a hold of all of them.
  • Her hiring of Deveraux Beatrice Biddick to work in the Election Office.  Biddick was evicted from the 2020 November poll election for violating poll watcher policies by filming the voter tabulator on election day.
  • She's constantly blaming the Montana Secretary of State or VoteMT for the local problems in Cascade County.
  • Fontana-Moore had the elections we're talking about ready to go when she left office.

Right now, today, in Cascade County we are not just WALKING the line of fascism, we are ON IT.  Now is the time to act if you want a Cascade County that holds FAIR, FREE, and TRANSPARENT elections.

If you'd like to make a difference, you can sign up for Election judge training on April 26th and April 28th at the Election office.  You can also register with the Election Office to ba a poll watcher and poll monitor.

This isn't the Montana I was born in.  This isn't the Great Falls I know.  We have to act now to save our county and our state.

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