With the rancor that occurred nationally from the 2020 Presidential election, KGVO turned to Montana’s newly elected Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen for a recap of how the election went in Montana.

Jacobsen said she was proud of the election process in the state, despite the complications of COVID 19 and the number of absentee ballots.

“There are several things that set the bar really high that we do in Montana here, and one of them is a paper trail of the ballots,” said Jacobsen. “That is something that's an absolute best practice across the entire country, and then we do a post election audit and we just have a lot of public visibility and participation for the whole entire election process. So we have a lot of eyes on the process from beginning to end.”

Jacobsen said special circumstances because of the pandemic led to more absentee ballots being cast.

“What we experienced in this last election with the governor allowing the counties to choose if they want to do an all mail ballot as opposed to just the absentee voting, each county had the option to choose due to the pandemic and with an all mail ballot, every registered voter was mailed a ballot for the election,” she said. “The way we've traditionally always done the elections is a non excuse absentee ballot election, which means only those voters that are registered and designate themselves as absentee voters receive a ballot. Currently in Montana, we have about two thirds of Montanans that are registered as absentee voters. And the other third are voters that like to vote in person.”

Jacobsen said her fellow Secretaries of State expressed their envy over Montana’s successes.

“When I talk with some of my counterparts in other states, they're just so envious of what we have here in Montana,” she said. And that's unity around our values, and around the policy that Montanans want to see. And that's why we had we had Republicans elected across the state.”

Jacobsen said she will do everything in her power to prevent an all mail ballot election bill from being passed.

“There is a bill in the legislature that is requesting an all mail ballot,” she said. “That is something that's continually been brought forth every session and continually been voted down, and I would anticipate it'll get voted down again this time. That’s something that I campaigned on and I promised the voters in Montana that I would continue to oppose that bill and the citizens that like to vote in person should have that right to do so.”

Jacobsen was former Secretary of State Corey Stapleton’s chief deputy.

 

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