Even though the 2020 Election in Montana concluded more than a half-year ago, and a wave of Republican candidates were swept into office in margins that hadn’t been seen for a century, Montana is still making headlines in voting news.
Ironically, none of the news about Montana or elections is coming from within Montana.
A few weeks ago, it was reported that data from Arizona’s election re-audit, led by the Cyber Ninjas, was being transported to the state for analysis in some undisclosed laboratory staffed with experts.
And last weekend, former President Donald J. Trump made allegations that missing mail-in ballots in an unnamed Montana county is evidence of fraud.
That news comes as a surprise to Montana officials who point out that all ballots, including mail-in ones, are present and accounted for — and have been for months.
Trump made remarks at a rally in Wellington, Ohio on June 26. The transcript from the rally reads:
“In Montana, over 6 percent of a certain county’s mail-ballots are missing, evidence to prove that if they were legitimate or not, that they’re missing. All this evidence. Think of it, Montana. You know, a lot of mail-in ballots. Where you have mail-in ballots.”
The reference is without support, and also shocking because Trump won the state handily as did Republicans statewide, sweeping the state’s top offices and dominating the legislature with a veto-proof majority for the GOP.
The Secretary of State’s Office has also confirmed that there are no reports of ballot problems or ballots missing.
“The office is not aware of any county election official that has self-reported missing absentee ballots,” said Richie Melby, Communications Director for the Secretary of State, which has responsibility for statewide results and certifying elections in Montana.
This story originally appeared online at the Daily Montanan.