It’s time Secretary of State Corey Stapleton learned the difference between a ballot that has an irregular signature and voter fraud.
Most irregular signatures, according to county election administrators, are due to a husband and wife getting their ballots mixed up and signing the wrong one. Same thing happens with roommates. Or a spouse signs a ballot because the significant other forgot to before going out of town.
This hardly meets the definition of fraud in the Oxford Dictionary: “wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain,” also defined as the “intentional perversion of truth… ” (an apt description of Stapleton’s proclamations).
Hundreds (if not thousands) of mail ballots in recent Montana elections have been cast and signed by someone other than the voter whose name is on the ballot.
That quote comes from Stapleton in a recent email to me. So what is it, Corey, hundreds or thousands? Any documentation? Transparency doesn’t seem to be the secretary’s strong suit. Check out this Helena IR story.
The email I received was a GIF file, making it hard to copy and reproduce (at least for me). I couldn’t find a link to it anywhere. The email was an official-looking Secretary of State document with a big picture of Corey and, of course, the Great Seal of the State of Montana.
He’s pleading for election reform because:
“We’ve never had voter fraud in Montana this century. I mean nobody. And ask yourself if we had no DUIs, if we had no shoplifting, if we had no sexual assaults, would we really say that we don’t have those things? Or would we say we don’t have voter fraud because we’ve never pursued it or we don’t understand? Three-hundred — I don’t know the exact number — but in the special election for example over 300 signatures were illegal statewide.”
It’s a bizarre quote and Stapleton likes to throw around terms like “fraud,” “illegal,” “not legal” and “mismatched” in the same email, although they are vastly different.
It’s all political and an attempt to restrict voter participation. That’s our current secretary of state.