Concerns over possible voter fraud and irregularities in Missoula County Elections don’t appear to be a major worry for Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton in the upcoming November 6 election.

“I am pretty impressed with Missoula County this cycle,” Stapleton said. “They made a change at the top there with elections and I think she has done a bang up job. There are always little issues and things that arise that we know of, but that happens state wide. The big counties are hard to manage and I am cautiously optimistic that we actually have some great things going on there. A new elections administrator has really set a new tone.”

The “change at the top,” that Stapleton mentioned was the hiring of the new Missoula County Elections Coordinator Dayna Causby to replace former elections coordinator Rebecca Connors. Stapleton says the tone now is very different.

“They set the tone for the relationship between the Office of the Secretary of State and with the media and if they are not compliant with policies and what not, it just creates a lot of friction,” Stapleton said. “We have seen nothing but professionalism come out of the Missoula County area. We had an issue in Mineral County, which is short of your area, but that was a mistake. We can deal with mistakes, but it is a people issue sometimes.”

In July of last year, Stapleton and Connors sent emails back and forth over concerns of 91 ballots that were rejected. At the time, Stapleton wrote that he believed that some of those ballots were signed with ill intent and went on to write that he was “concerned that there exists systemic risk of acquiescence or indifference in Missoula county" he went on to say that he was concerned that "the only safeguard we are citing is the attempt to not let the [ballots] get counted verses actually doing something about the offense of casting illegal ballots.”

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