In case you haven’t noticed, free and fair elections are under attack. Most recently the election denier crowd here in Cascade County is bringing another roadshow charlatan here to Great Falls. This guy’s name is Douglas Frank, a former high school math and science teacher from Ohio. And it appears he is a target of an FBI probe into voter fraud in numerous states.

In April, he appeared in six public meetings in Wyoming and held private meetings with legislators and the Wyoming Secretary of State. His actions prompted the Association of Clerk and Recorders to issue a letter to the Secretary of State, Chuck Gray, which said, “Throughout those meetings, we have concluded that Dr. Frank conveys claims of impropriety but provides no proof to support his allegations.” Malcolm Ervin, Platte County clerk and president of the clerks’ association, also wrote to Gray on March 29. “One would think that Dr. Frank would be eager to prove this capability but rather than proof, Dr. Frank offers an unverifiable story.”

Last spring the election deniers brought other so-called “experts” to town for another public meeting. In addition to Republican State Senator Theresa Manzella, the self appointed Queen of election deniers in Montana, they brought in a shady character named Mark Cook. Among other things, Cook was implicated in litigation and investigations in Colorado over illegal copying of voting records. ( has written several articles, some examples here and here, on the election deniers here in Great Falls.)

It turns out that Douglas Frank is also a target in an FBI probe of voting fraud in Colorado arising from some of the same incidents Mark Cook had allegedly been involved in. In September, his cell phone was confiscated by the FBI. Mike Lindell’s (The My Pillow Guy and major supporter of election fraud conspiracy theories) phone was also taken in part of the same investigation. Documents that Lindell showed on his on-line program said investigators were seeking evidence of crimes committed by Lindell and several associates, including Frank. Lindell said that he had hired Frank for several projects but was not aware of all of his activities and denied any involvement in the incidents in Colorado. 

As Donald Trump faces state and federal criminal indictment for his efforts to steal the 2020 election, here in Great Falls election conspiracists continue promoting their wacky theories and generally fouling up the Clerk and Recorder’s office. Since taking office in January, our new Clerk and Recorder, Sandra Merchant, has managed to screw up virtually everything she touches. The school election was completely fouled up, a court ordered a special monitor to oversee the library levy election to guarantee it was properly administered, there are currently three lawsuits filed against the county challenging Merchant’s administration of local elections.  

Merchant is not just incompetent. She is also corrupt. Most recently Merchant and members of her staff went to a meeting held at the high-end Chico Hot Springs Resort at an estimated cost of more than $3,000 to the taxpayers. Virtually, every new hire in the Clerk and Recorder’s office has been filled by her cronies, including the wife and daughter of far-right Republican Public Service Commissioner, Randy Pinocci. Makes one wonder where the County Attorney and County Human Resources office is since political patronage hiring is clearly illegal under state law. 

So, now Frank is bringing his roadshow to Great Falls. He will be appearing on August 29 at MSU College of Technology. It makes one wonder what kinds of shenanigans Sandra Merchant and her cronies are up to now that they control the local Clerk and Recorder’s office.  


For more on Frank and the investigation in Colorado, check out these articles:

Douglas Frank

Photo of Douglas Frank from the Los Angeles Times