Second Montana County Votes to Reject 2020 Election Results Ahead of GOP Convention

The Lewis and Clark County Republican Central Committee passed a resolution Monday to reject the results of the 2020 Presidential election, the second Montana county to do so after Ravalli County Republicans passed a similar resolution last week.

The text of the resolution cites solidarity with resolutions passed in Maricopa County, Arizona; Langlade County, Wisconsin; and the Republican Party of Texas to reject the results of the 2020 election. The resolution calls on “all Americans” to pursue election integrity efforts in their states and to “correct all fraud and weaknesses” with their state election systems.

The Republican Party of Lewis and Clark County of the State of Montana formally rejects the certified results of the 2020 Presidential election, and we hold that Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the majority of the people of the United States. We strongly urge all Americans to ensure election integrity and accountability steps are in place and enforced, and to correct all fraud and weaknesses identified in all states in the 2020 Election. We also encourage all citizens to reject any calls to eliminate the electoral college.

A copy of the Lewis & Clark resolution has been making its way throughout the election integrity advocate networks nationwide. The resolution was shared by New Mexico Audit Force early this morning with nearly 10,000 users viewing the Montana resolution.

Lewis and Clark County Republican Central Committee Chair Darin Gaub told Western Montana News that the vote was 18-6 indicating broad support from committee members and local Republicans. Gaub said that dissenters were worried that a focus on election integrity would “harm candidates” in November, but a June 30th poll of midterm voter priorities from Rasmussen showed that 83% of voters nationwide were “concerned” about election integrity with 61% saying they were “very concerned.”

“Most of the candidates around here have come up and thanked me including one Senate candidate and four House candidates.” Gaub said in response to concerns about candidate electability.

Gaub said that committee members had been working on the resolution simultaneously to Ravalli County passing their resolution last week.

“We were in communication,” Gaub said noting that Ravalli and Lewis and Clark county committee members collaborated on text relevant to the State of Montana in the resolution.

“Our actions are state oriented,” said Gaub. “The resolution is that we do not believe Biden won. And although we do not necessary dispute the totality of the election results in Montana, we believe there are systems and processes that are worthy of a double-check to make sure and to continue to improve.”

“We’re seeking honesty,” Gaub said.

Gaub pointed to the “closed box” nature of the vote tabulation machines sold to counties. The source code is not made available or even inspected by state or county officials. In the run up to the 2020 election, Election Systems and Software (ES&S), the vendor that manufacturers tabulation machines sold to Montana counties, updated the logic boards of their machines, but did not seek recertification with the state or with the Federal Election Assistance Commission which certifies the devices. In Carbon County, the elections administrator Crystal Roascio was not even aware that an update had been made until citizens noticed broken warranty seals on the county’s two DS200 tabulation devices during a public demonstration.

“If you have digital systems counting votes and you cannot see the software or the hardware then you have got a system that is less secure than our own lottery systems,” Gaub said.

Gaub also pointed to the conflict of interest that Secretaries of State like Montana’s Christi Jacobsen find themselves in where they are members of national professional associations that are funded by ES&S and Dominion, such as the National Association of Secretaries of State.

“The Secretary of State should leave the national association,” Gaub said. “It would be worthy of discussion regarding how that would work best. Frankly, I don’t believe any elected official, generally, should belong to a national association of anything where that association is being funded by ES&S and Dominion. It’s worth ensuring that there are no obvious conflicts of interest like those that exist with the National Association of Secretaries of State.”

“We pay for them, they should be fully transparent to all parties,” Gaub told WMN.

The resolution also calls for the designation and funding of a “Standing Legislative Election Committee” in the Montana Legislature that can handle and investigate election security and integrity issues.

“The state legislative election committee needs to be stood up and funded. All these election systems need to be fully transparent across the state and all contracts need to be revisited,” Gaub said.

The resolution also addresses the illegal funding accepted by county elections administrators statewide.

In 2020, the Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to county elections departments including granting monies to 30 of 56 Montana counties. The grant money was to be used for COVID mitigation and to build a permanent infrastructure for mail-in ballot elections. Lewis and Clark County received $215,000 in CTCL grant funds.

“I would put in hefty penalties for the acceptance of any monies for elections other than that which comes from the Montana citizens,” Gaub said.

According to state code MCA 13-1-302, election costs are required to be paid by the county.

Committee members in Lewis and Clark and in Ravalli County are hoping that the State GOP steps up and leads, but recognized that the counties are the ones who have the authority to act.

“What I’d like to see is that it gets picked up at the state convention this weekend and is adopted by the state GOP. It’s being discussed,” said Gaub. “If there are a couple people leading the way, others will follow. Counties leading the state, rather than the state leading the counties.”

Gaub said that if the resolutions aims were implemented and the elections were re-ran and produced the same result, he would concede the issue.

“I am willing to concede if all things being equal and all the results came exactly the same across the entire country the way they did, so be it,” Gaub said. “Let’s get to work. I would actually prefer that. Then it just comes down to policy, getting the word out, and working on your candidates. Not having to overcome an algorithm in a computer.”

Committee members in Lewis and Clark County are optimistic that other counties will step up and focus on election integrity efforts in order to restore the public’s confidence in elections.

“There are some things that clearly need to be addressed in Montana that are worth looking at,” Gaub said.

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