March 25, 2009 By News Report
"This bill audits the voting machines, not the practices of our clerks and recorders." -- Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch (pictured)
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer yesterday signed SB155, which requires post-election audits of vote-counting machines.
"This bill audits the voting machines, not the practices of our clerks and recorders," said Secretary of State Linda McCulloch who requested the bill. "We have so many close races in Montana that we know from experience our clerks and recorders are doing a fine job in each of our 56 counties."
The bill requires the Secretary of State's Office to reimburse local governments for the costs associated with the random sample post-election audits. The funding will most likely come from the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) according to a release from the Secretary of State's Office.
"This law will reinforce Montana's fair and accurate elections by confirming the accuracy of the vote count and the integrity of our elections system," said McCulloch. "The audits will be completed in randomly selected precincts after each federal election."
Senate Bill 155 was a collaborative effort between the office of the Secretary of State, the Montana Association of Clerks and Recorders and the League of Women Voters.