Election Administrator continues to stonewall

Greetings Paula:

Two long weeks ago, I reminded you that you have not shared information I requested, specifically: “Please send me the names and numbers of all write-in votes on Lincoln County ballots, by party and position, as well as the date those write-in votes were counted,  and the name or names of anyone who has filed as a write-in candidate, from the recent primary election last June, at your earliest opportunity. (emphasis added)”

You have provided names, numbers and positions.  I can determine the date they were counted from the spreadsheet.  You did not include “the name or names of anyone who has filed as a write-in candidate.” 

Montana’s Constitution says, “No person shall be deprived of the right to examine documents or to observe the deliberation of all public bodies or agencies of state government and its subdivisions, except in cases in which the demand of individual privacy clearly exceeds the merits of public disclosure.”

Since you have chosen either to ignore the state constitution (in depriving me “of the right to examine documents”) I assume that you are an ethical bureaucrat, and have determined that “the demand of individual privacy clearly exceeds the merits of public disclosure.”  Therefore I ask that you either provide which party ballots votes were written in, and the individual names on those ballots, or explain how “the demand of individual privacy clearly exceeds the merits of public disclosure.”

I believe that choosing to ignore and omit 13-10-211 7 (in yellow)

(7) Except as provided in 13-38-201(4)(b), the requirements in subsection (1) do not apply if:
(a) an election is held;
(b) a person’s name is written in on the ballot;
(c) the person is qualified for and seeks election to the office for which the person’s name was written in; and
(d) no other candidate has filed a declaration or petition for nomination or a declaration of intent.

in conducting elections is detrimental to our two-party system . .  I will continue to express this belief on the pages of Trego’s Mountain Ear – founded in the mid-eighties, now in electronic format at . . . well, Paula, you sent me a reference to a website without the link, I’ll provide the same courtesy.

I have played nice because Mike Cuffe described you as a “nice lady.”  I’m feeling that the “nice lady” is stonewalling me and denying information to a portion of the news media, as well as denying information that would support my research into my county’s descent into unopposed elections (I am a retired state demographer and hold a research Ph.D.)

Please respond with the information that the Montana Constitution entitles me to receive.  If you choose to allow me to examine the documents in your office, please set aside several days, as I am a bit elderly and need reading glasses.

I figure that if I have not received the courtesy of a reply by mid-August, I will have to assume Mike Cuffe erred in his analysis of your character, and will follow up with other methods.  A website that may help you is


Michael McCurry

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