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More about Elections in Lincoln County

In case you missed it- or just want a refresher… Consolidated Polling increases the costs of voting in person, More about Uncontested Elections and Elections by Acclamation, That interesting error resulting in the hand count of the primary ballots, and the Omission of Section 7.

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… Continue reading Election Administrator continues to stonewall

Lincoln County Facing More Elections by Acclamation

With the primary ballots available (due back by June 7th), it’s become evident that we can expect more candidates elected by acclamation, since 69% of the races are candidates running uncontested.

Is it an Election if it isn’t Competitive?

I’ve been looking at Congressional districts on Nate Silver’s page.  The title is 270 to win, referring to the electoral college – yet I see that they expect 203 democrat wins and 219 republicans.  With a total of 435 congresscritters, that translates to 13 competitive seats.  RealClearPolitics shows 34 competitive seats.  Either way, most Congressional seats are decided in the primary.  34 of 435 means voters have a real choice in almost 8% of Congressional elections . . . Eldridge Gerry would be ever so proud. We have an election coming up in November.  There are no democrat candidates at… Continue reading Is it an Election if it isn’t Competitive?

Making Sense of Political Polls

In a world of perfect polling – and there are spots where polling sample correlation with reality approaches perfection – there would be no suspense or surprises on election day.  As I look at today’s polls, I recall an election where the polls showed South Dakota voters supported a very restrictive law on abortion – but that proposed law failed miserably at the polls.  Since I worked with populations and polls, I heard the question “Why?” Simply enough, a poll samples a population.  If we ask about eye color, our poll responses will reflect reality within the population we have… Continue reading Making Sense of Political Polls

Making Single Party Elections

Its getting a bit frustrating looking at single party elections.  As a demographer, I’m kind of cynical about how congressional districts are gerrymandered every ten years after the census.  It’s easiest to find conservative articles on the evils of gerrymandering because the dims are better at it.  Doesn’t really make any difference, since the republicans aren’t that far behind.  From a Reason article:  “Under the new congressional maps recently approved by state governments, there will be just 60 districts (out of 435 in total) that would have been decided by fewer than eight percentage points in the 2020 election, according… Continue reading Making Single Party Elections

Can Paula Omit Section 7?

I’ve inadvertently ran across a spot where Montana Counties – at least Lincoln County,  and I believe others – are systematically violating election law. When Lincoln County mailed out primary ballots, the Democrat ballot had no one running within Lincoln county, showing only 3 candidates for US House – the closest Dem candidate was in Polson.  The Republican ballot had a single race for Libby commissioner, a candidate for county school superintendent who had bailed out too late to get off the ballot, and no candidate for county administrator. My daughter meets all the requirements for superintendent, so she and… Continue reading Can Paula Omit Section 7?

Why Can’t We Have An Election?

I just got my primary ballot and noticed the extreme lack of candidates. On both ballots there are plenty of positions with one candidate or no candidate at all. If you can only vote for one candidate, is it an election? The following are running unopposed: Michael Cuffe for State Senator Niel A. Duram for State Representative Jim Hammons for County Commissioner Robin Benson for Clerk and Recorder/Auditor/Assessor/Surveyor Darren Short for Sheriff Steven Schnackenberg for Coroner Marcia Boris for County Attorney Taralee McFadden for County Superintendent of Schools Sedaris Carlberg for County Treasurer Mathew Cuffe for District Court Judge Jay… Continue reading Why Can’t We Have An Election?

Uncontested Elections

What do you call it when only one person runs for office? An uncontested election. It seems like this must be a bad thing, and also that it is increasing in frequency. Is it? It seems, given the explanation about removing term limits at the last Interbel Meeting, that the situation is at least increasing in the telephone cooperatives. Watching the local school board shows a similar trend. How common are they by state? The data’s a bit hard to find- but at least some of it is out there. According to ballotpedia.org in 2020, 100% of Wisconsin’s local elections… Continue reading Uncontested Elections

When was the last election?

It feels a bit odd to be asking “When was the last time there was an election?” about something local. As a kid, I sort of assumed that elections happened everywhere in our country, as scheduled, and it was only foreign countries that lacked elections. Unfortunately, it’s a question worth asking. About the Trego School Board, certainly. Last year, we were writing about vacant school board positions, and the need to get an application in to the school clerk, for an election to be held in May. That’s what should happen (every year). What actually happens (and not just on… Continue reading When was the last election?

Still no Parties in the Primary

Well, on July 7, I received another reply from Paula Buff on my Freedom of Information Act request.  It included part of a spreadsheet on the write-in votes, and these words: Here is the info you requested. Candidate information can be found on the COPP website.” Since the spreadsheet didn’t include all the information I requested, I replied: Greetings Paula Thanks for including the COPP website – when I include websites, I normally attempt to have them interactive, so the recipient doesn’t have to google to figure out what the abbreviation means, but that’s merely a courtesy to which I… Continue reading Still no Parties in the Primary

Ballot Problems- Again

It’s not every day that Lincoln County makes the news outside of our state. Our recent primary election did just that due to an error in ballot size, resulting in a hand-count that delayed results. Montana gained a new seat in the house of representatives- and the race to determine the republican nominee for that new seat was a tight one. Tight enough that Ryan Zinke and Al Olszewski had to wait until Lincoln County’s results were counted in order to know who had one (Zinke). This isn’t exactly the first time we’ve had trouble with the ballots in Lincoln… Continue reading Ballot Problems- Again

Consolidated Polling Increases The Cost of Voting in Person

It’s only about four and a half miles from downtown Trego to the Volunteer Fire Department for Fortine, which is where we used to go to vote. Going into Eureka (as per that letter we all received from the county) will increase the distance by about thirteen miles (according to google maps). The distance I am supposed to travel to vote just got multiplied by a bit over 3. Of course, I live in downtown Trego, which means that my distance increased less than most. Looking at a map, it looks like the furthest up Fortine Creek Road are now… Continue reading Consolidated Polling Increases The Cost of Voting in Person

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