Secretary of State Explains Why Montanans Could Not Change Their Vote
On Election Day last Thursday, many counties experienced an interesting situation: people who had already cast their absentee ballots were trying to get new ballots to vote again after a misdemeanor assault charge changed the political landscape at the last minute. Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton says there isn’t an opportunity like that in Montana.
"That is kind of where you have to push it back on people and say why did you vote early?" said Stapleton. "If you choose to vote before you have all of the information, in Montana we vote only once, you can't vote twice and change your vote. I think the system works well, but what we have seen is some people by convenience have got into the mode of casting their votes a month before they have all of the information."
Stapleton says the public’s reaction during the last 48 hours before the election is a good reminder of why he wanted to keep polling places open.
"It will cause some people to reflect," Stapleton said. "This was obviously a conversation that we had preciously in the legislature where I was very much against forcing people to vote early. This is one of the reasons, there are many, but again this is why teachers don't give out grades 30 days before the end of the class."
The Montana State legislature was urged by Governor Steve bullock to create a mail-in only ballot system for the special election, but that proposition was blocked in the House.