May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door. -Irish Proverb
Here are the topics that caught my eye:
- Cascade County Clerk & Recorder
- A Little Gun History
- NCAA Men’s Tournament
CASCADE COUNTY CLERK & RECORDER:
The Electric is providing an update to the report from yesterday about the debacle that is happening in Cascade County Clerk & Recorder under the new leadership of Sandra Merchant.
Apparently, the by-mail elections are off the table for the foreseeable future which will end up costing taxpayers a lot more money.
The interesting thing about this mess is the following information from The Electric:
Last year, Merchant was associated with a group of people who asked the county to eliminate mail ballots and require all voters to vote in person. They also asked that the county count all ballots by hand and stop using the vote counting machines that have been in use in Cascade County for years.
The group made claims of voter fraud and that the machines could be hacked.
Merchant is doing what the group wanted and that is eliminating mail ballots. There’s no fraud in mail ballots. She will cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars. She is creating skepticism in the election process in Cascade County.
The bad news is the people who could stop this mess are from the same political party and many of them are MAGA nutjobs.
Does anyone in authority have the guts to step up and stop this mess?
Read the latest report from The Electric HERE.
A LITTLE GUN HISTORY:
I saw this claim floating around Facebook AGAIN.
It starts with:
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1029 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Snopes rates the claim as “Mostly False.”
What’s false is “Gun control” isn’t synonymous with gun confiscation; in some cases where genocide occurred, gun restriction laws had already been in place for many years prior, and the evidence does not demonstrate a causal link between gun control and mass exterminations.
What’s true is Mass killings of civilians by military dictatorships in the 1900s were more often than not preceded by the confiscation of firearms from targeted populations, a task made easier by laws requiring the registration and/or licensing of privately-owned weapons.
Snopes provides a step-by-step rebuttal of the claims made in the post. Check it out HERE. FactCheck.org debunks the claim HERE. PolitiFact debunks the claim HERE.
After all these years, there are still dumbasses spreading fake information because they agree with it.
NCAA MEN’S TOURNAMENT:
I watched one complete NCAA Men’s basketball game yesterday and that was between Missouri and Utah State. Mizzou won the game easily. I enjoy watching the end of other games when they are close, so I was busy throughout the day and into the evening.
As of this morning, I have a 98.5% winning percentage in my top bracket on ESPN. There are 658 perfect brackets left at ESPN from over 20 million submitted. (Source)
It should be a great weekend of basketball!
The former elections supervisor is my good neighbor. I’m glad she spoke to theelectric. My understanding is that when the group claiming fraud was giving the election department grief, that was when the discussion started about taking the Election department away from the Clerk & Recorder position – which is legal.
But if the election department is so messed up – what is happening at the office the Clerk & Recorder…..all those real property records.
A mad woman is loose over there.
According to the latest Electric story, “On March 17, Merchant scheduled a meeting with county commissioners for 1 p.m. March 23 in the commission chambers to discuss the election plans.”
So that’s this coming Thursday, March 23, 1:00 p.m., Cascade County commission chambers, in the County courthouse annex building at 325 2nd Avenue North, Great Falls. Room 111 ? Got to assume it is open to the public since this isn’t a personnel action or any of that, and our local governments are all about transparency, just ask them.
Could be wild.
Re: Cascade County clerk debacle:
– The “new staff/short staff” excuse: Sandra knew when she was elected that there were elections coming up quick in 2023. So her first order of business was to purge all the experienced staff and replace them with rookies/possible cronies who can’t do the job at this time. Gross mismanagement pure and simple.
– Redistricting excuse: Not sure what her office had to spend time on, since redistricting doesn’t even take effect until this legislature is over, and all the decisions were being made by the redistricting commission and legislature. Respond to queries about voters in various neighborhoods, perhaps, to refine the gerrymandering?
– Mail sorter excuse: Every other county clerk in Montana manages to conduct mail ballots, so why can’t Sandra? Who sorts their mail?
– Inability to address and send ballot envelopes: Sandra thinks they can hand count every election more accurately than the tabulators, so why can’t she simply send out an accurate mail ballot by hand?
– Disenfranchisement of voters: So now all the homebound seniors and those in the GF area’s many senior living homes, and people with day jobs, and all the residents in far flung corners of the county working hard on their ranches etc., and people who had travel plans, and everyone else who has gotten used to voting by mail for years, suddenly has to trot down to the fair grounds and stand in line to vote in person, or not vote at all? Good old fashioned voter suppression and sounds intentional. Or will people on the mail ballot list still get their mail ballots like usual plus the polls will be open, just no mass mailing to all voters.
Call me skeptical but based on Sandra’s track record to date, I expect any in-person elections she runs – assuming the dog doesn’t eat those too and we can never get around to them – to also be a major disaster.
The State should come in, kick her out, and take over the office until a competent replacement can be found.
Cascade County commission work session coming up next Wednesday at 2:00 pm, could be wild. I don’t know that they can give an elected official the boot, but maybe this display of utter incompetence will be the catalyst to move Commissioner Larson into the “commission ought to be running elections” camp.
Great points. This is a mess that needs to be fixed. Thanks, JmB