Missoula County Elections Administrator Bradley Seaman was on a recent Talk Back show answering questions from callers.

One listener asked if the elections office can tell who is voting Republican and who is voting Democrat.

“We don't track that in the state of Montana,” said Seaman. “We're what we call an open primary state. So in our voter database we don't include whether somebody is registered or would like to register as a Democrat or Republican, Libertarian independent or any of our other parties. This is a great option because it adds an extra level of secrecy.”

In our voter database we don't include whether somebody is registered or would like to register as a Democrat or Republican, Libertarian independent or any of our other parties. This is a great option because it adds an extra level of secrecy.”

 

 

One listener asked if voter information is available to anyone who wants to purchase it.

“For the county of Missoula, we don't provide a charge for our lists,” he said. “We do make sure that it's not used for commercial purposes, as is required by law, they must sign off on that. So it's a little bit different. We won't do any charges for voter lists in Missoula County, but we usually come statewide or nationally, but they but they are provided to people who ask for them. One of the ways you that can keep from being called is if you list a cell phone number and mark it as a cell phone number, you're not able to call cell phones due to specific laws for pollers, so they would filter those out later.”

Seaman was asked about current litigation regarding access to ballots for ‘ballot harvesting’. Seaman said the county is required to abide by the current statute, whatever it may be.

“For the Ballot Interference Protection Act, it's currently enjoying meaning it will not be enforced for the general election. So this is also dovetails directly into the current lawsuit filed against the governor by the Republican Party, the President of the United States and Republican Party of Montana. You know, for election administrators, our job is to make sure we're following election laws as they're currently written.”

We’ll have one more installment with Bradley Seaman on Friday’s Montana Morning News.