Sandra Merchant was elected as the new Cascade County Clerk and Recorder last November. In just a few short months, Merchant has rendered the department inoperable. According to multiple knowledgeable sources, Merchant hasn’t been completing such basic tasks as handling finances and even checking the mail. We’ll be getting a more detailed report together regarding Merchant’s utter failure to fulfill her multiple duties, but today we must address an urgent issue.
Sandra Merchant is not holding elections. At present, the people of Cascade County are being denied our right to vote in elections and on ballot issues. Great Falls is the third largest city in the state, and as of today we have no functioning Democracy.
Merchant has refused to hold a mail election for the Sun River School District. Her actions have left Sun River little time to put together a poll election, and its entirely possible the election won’t take place at all. The citizens of Sun River deserve access to free, fair, efficient, and transparent elections. Merchant’s inability and unwillingness to perform her duties is stripping Sun River residents of their rights.
Also on the chopping block is the special election for the library levy. The Commission voted to send the issue to the ballot on February 21st and notified Merchant on February 22nd. There is a provision that would allow Merchant to inform the city that she couldn’t conduct the election. Merchant had 5 days to put this refusal in writing- and she didn’t do this. Therefore, Merchant is knowingly ignoring city code.
Merchant is blaming the closure of Innovative Postal Services for her inability to conduct these elections. We’re not fooled by her attempts at diversion. The previous Clerk and Recorder has faced challenges similar to what Merchant is facing now. Barriers like redistricting, changing private sector business partnerships, and a lack of resources are nothing new. The only difference we’re now facing is that Sandra Merchant is in charge- and she doesn’t know how to do her job.
Sandra Merchant ran on a platform of election denial. She claimed that our elections process couldn’t be trusted- despite a total lack of evidence for her wild allegations. Now, Merchant is literally keeping us from voting. Her total ignorance of the election process is evidenced in her responses- which are a matter of public record—in which Merchant has asked to simply move or reschedule elections. That’s not how elections work, Sandra. They are not scheduled based on your preferences or what is most convenient for you.
Merchant does not have the authority to refuse to conduct or to reschedule an election. Although there are both government employees and elected officials (Looking at you, County Commission) that could be addressing this issue, they are not stepping up and getting this fixed.
So, dear readers, its up to us to defend our Democracy. It’s time for Sandra Merchant to resign.
Email Sandra Merchant and demand her immediate resignation. Copy the County Commission on your email as well. Remember that your email will become a public record, so conduct yourself accordingly.
Email Sandra Merchant at:
Cc the county commission at:
Call the Clerk and Recorders office at: 454 6801