86 Montana Legislators Request Special Committee on Elections

State Senator Theresa Manzella (SD-44) shared a letter on Facebook signed by 86 Montana Legislators requesting a Special Select Committee on elections.

The request letter was transmitted to Senate President Mark Blasdel (SD-4) and House Speaker Wylie Galt (HD-30) on Wednesday and includes signatures from 24 State Senators and 62 State Representatives. The representatives are asking for the committee in order to “hear testimony concerning past Montana elections and [to] review the current election laws in Montana,” according to the letter.

“The Select Committee would conduct hearings about the process and security of Montana elections and propose future changes if needed; including legislation,” the letter stated. The legislators cite their authority under the Montana Constitution to hold the committee and review election law in addition to past election results. Under the Montana Constitution, legislators “shall insure the purity of elections and guard against abuses of the electoral process.” In full, Article IV, Section 3 states,

The legislature shall provide by law the requirements for residence, registration, absentee voting, and administration of elections. It may provide for a system of poll booth registration, and shall insure the purity of elections and guard against abuses of the electoral process.

Article IV, Section 3, Elections. Montana Constitution.

As their reason for calling the committee, the legislators cited constituent requests for answers to questions about election security in Montana elections. Last week, the Montana Election Integrity Project and the Ravalli County Republican Women hosted election integrity speaking events in Missoula and Hamilton, respectively.

At the events, hundreds of Montanan’s gathered to listen to two data analysts share anomalies that they uncovered pouring through data related to the Montana 2020 election including voter registration data, state and county race results, and US Census data.

One analyst, former Army Cpt. Seth Keshel, found that in Missoula County, Democrats, who had been on a historic downtrend of turnout after Obama’s first election, suddenly gained 11,814 votes and the county suddenly gained 15,911 new voters in 2020. The previous gain in voters was only 6,302 voters in the historic 2008 Obama election.

Missoula County voter turnout trends 2004-2020.

The committee on elections could probe the ballot discrepancy found in Missoula County’s 2020 General Election. A review of ballot signature envelopes in January found that 4,592 ballots were missing legally required chain of custody documentation, making it illegal for them to be counted.

According to the letter, the select committee would be a bipartisan committee whose makeup would match the current balance of party power in the legislature.

Senator Manzella shared that citizens interested in supporting the effort could contact Senate President Mark Blasdel or House Speaker Wylie Galt. The letter asks the Legislative leaders to respond by October 6th.

Read the letter:



Sen Kenneth Bogner – SD19

Sen Bob Brown – SD7

Sen Mike Cuffe – SD1

Sen John Esp – SD30

Sen Jason Ellsworth – SD43

Sen Steve Fitzpatrick – SD10

Sen Chris Friedel – SD26

Sen Terry Gauthier – SD 40                                                         

Sen Butch Gillespie – SD9

Sen Carl Glimm – SD2

Sen Greg Hertz – SD6

Sen Steve Hinebauch – SD18

Sen Dave Howard – SD29

Sen Brian Hoven – SD13

Sen Bob Kennan – SD5

Sen Mike Lang – SD17

Sen Theresa Manzella – SD44

Sen Tom McGillvray – SD23

Sen Keith Regier – SD3

Sen Dan Salomon – SD47

Sen Cary Smith – SD 27

Sen Russ Temple – SD14

Sen Gordy Vance – SD34

Sen Jeff Wellborn – SD36

Rep Fred Anderson – HD20

Rep Dan Bartel – HD29

Rep Becky Beard – HD80

Rep David Bedey – HD 86

Rep Seth Berglee – HD58

Rep Marta Bertoglio – HD75

Rep Michele Binkley – HD 85

Rep Larry Brewster – HD44

Rep Ed Buttrey – HD21

Rep Jennifer Carlson – HD69

Rep Geraldine Custer – HD39

Rep Neil Duram – HD2

Rep Julie Dooling – HD70

Rep Paul Fielder – HD13

Rep Ross Fitzgerald – HD17                                      

Rep Frank Flemming – HD51

Rep Gregory Frazer – HD 78

Rep John Fuller – HD 8

Rep Steve Galloway – HD24

Rep Frank Garner – HD7

Rep Jane Gillette – HD64

Rep Steve Gist – HD25

Rep Sharon Greef – HD88

Rep Steve Gunderson – HD1

Rep Ed Hill – HD 28

Rep Caleb Hinkle – HD68

Rep Jed Hinkle – HD67

Rep Ken Holmlund – HD38

Rep Llew Jones – HD18

Rep Josh Kassmier – HD27

Rep Scot Kerns – HD23

Rep Rhonda Knudsen – HD 34

Rep Casey Knudsen – HD33

Rep Dennis Lenz- HD53

Rep Brandon Ler – HD35

Rep Denley Loge – HD14

Rep Marty Malone – HD59

Rep Ron Marshall – HD87

Rep Wendy McKamey – HD19

Rep Braxton Mitchell – HD3

Rep Terry Moore – HD54

Rep Fiona Nave – HD57

Rep Mark Noland – HD 10 

Rep Bob Phalen – HD36

Rep Brian Putman – HD9

Rep Joe Read – HD93

Rep Amy Regier – HD6

Rep Matt Regier  – HD4

Rep Linda Reksten – HD12

Rep Vince Ricci – HD55

Rep Jerry Schillinger – HD37

Rep Kerri Seekins- Crowe – HD43

Rep Lola Sheldon-Galloway – HD22

Rep Derek Skees – HD11

Rep Mallerie Stromwold – HD50

Rep Jeremy Trebas – HD26

Rep Brad Tschida – HD97

Rep Barry Usher – HD40

Rep Sue Vinton – HD56

Rep Tom Welch – HD72

Rep Kathy Whitman – HD96

Rep Katie Zolnikov – HD45

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