Challenges and Successes from Election Night Missoula 2018
Bad weather, machine breakdowns and long lines did not keep the Missoula County Election Center from successfully carrying out the 2018 midterm election on Tuesday.
Administrator Dayna Causby met with the media on Wednesday afternoon and went over some of the sheer numbers handled by her staff.
“In Missoula County on election day my very dedicated staff that I am extremely proud of processed over 1,300 same-day registrations that day,” said Causby. “There was an average wait time of 45 minutes to an hour. That’s very impressive and they worked very hard.”
One of the reasons why voting numbers were delayed in communities across the state was some counting machines broke down.
“In Missoula County, we have three 850 machines,” she said. “These are the big machines that count the ballots. One of those did go down for a few hours early this morning from about 3:00 a.m. to about 10:00 a.m. but we kept the other two machines running at top speed. Our staff worked through ballots as quickly as possible and they are still dedicated to finishing up the ballot count today.”
Causby also reiterated the point that there is and was, no way for the process to be hacked at the local level.
“Montana uses paper ballots and they’re harder to have any influence on and we utilize a machine that never touches the internet for our election results,” she said. “None of our election equipment ever touches the internet, so there’s no good way to get into our system.”
Causby said the voter turnout was 69 percent for the midterm, compared to the 2016 Presidential election which had a 74 percent turnout.