After multiple embarrassing blunders and missteps, the Cascade County Commission today approved the canvas of the Great Falls Municipal Election. Widespread media coverage shows the depth and breadth of ineptitude displayed by Commissioner Rae Grulkowski and Clerk and Recorder Sandra Merchant. There’s been a lot to keep up with, and if you, like the average GF resident, preferred to spend your holiday eating turkey instead of monitoring the minutiae of dysfunctional local government, you may have missed some news. Don’t worry, dear reader. We’ve done the work for you and rounded up the funniest and most informative articles highlighting Sandra Merchant’s No Good Very Bad Week.
Here are a few of our favorite highlights from Merchant’s cirque de failure.
“Jasmine Taylor, a former Democratic candidate for the legislature, said Grulkowski tried to circumvent commissioners Briggs and Larson, who refused to participate in an improperly noticed meeting, by asking other elected officials to hold the meeting.
“And that didn’t work out for you, and thank God it did not,” Taylor said. “Because can you imagine if we had other elected officials up there with a farce of a canvass that you held? You cannot complain about your co-workers not coming to you when you go behind the scenes and behind their back and try to circumvent normal public processes in Cascade County.”
Read the full story here: https://dailymontanan.com/2023/11/28/cascade-county-commission-votes-to-restructure-chairperson-selection-process/?fbclid=IwAR16fDYmkoPCdnMbePjVacZY7Gmky8PBLdTpBv-JnXusljfkdPnyP4kyU-w
“Briggs said he moved to adjourn last Wednesday’s meeting after he noticed several discrepancies in the post-election reports for the outlying communities of Cascade and Belt. He noted that the canvass was a significant departure from past elections, with commissioners not receiving materials prior to the meeting and not being presented with the information needed to compare the number of ballots processed by vote-tabulating machines with the number of ballots returned by voters to the elections office.
Merchant did not respond to multiple messages requesting comment.”
Read the full story here: https://montanafreepress.org/2023/11/28/cascade-county-misses-election-canvass-deadline/
“Looking at (the Secretary of State’s) report and comparing it to the tabulator machine results for the town of Belt and the town of Cascade – the numbers of ballots received did not match,” explained Commissioner Rae Grulkowski. “Commissioner Briggs made a motion to table until the Secretary of State’s Office could be reached to conclude why those numbers were different.”
Read the full story here: https://www.newsbreak.com/news/3242654584429-when-will-it-count-cascade-county-s-nov-7-election-results-still-in-limbo?_f=app_share&s=a3&share_destination_id=MjIyODA3MDU2LTE3MDA5NDM2NTI3NDc%3D&pd=0F4sIC3l&hl=en_US&send_time=1700943652&actBtn=null&trans_data=%7B%22platform%22%3A1%2C%22cv%22%3A%2223.46.1%22%2C%22languages%22%3A%22en%22%7D&fbclid=IwAR17LY483tJBbRE5o6VP7ERDBo4UFd_wQeSdfEH41xy4eWz4pTsmXkzt2XU
“Jane Weber, former Cascade County Commissioner and co-founder of the Election Protection Committee, a resident-organized watchdog group, noted the canvass diverged from the usual process even before it started. Weber said in her written testimony never in her 10 years on the commission had she witnessed a canvass where commissioners didn’t get necessary reports from the Clerk and Recorder prior to the meeting. “This process today was a sham designed to outlast the public who came to make comment. I’m embarrassed and deeply troubled for any future elections in this county chamber,” Weber said.”
Read the full story here: https://dailymontanan.com/2023/11/24/cascade-county-commission-tables-election-canvass-amidst-ballot-tally-confusion/?fbclid=IwAR3fGBPw6qfOgDA8tXzfD2zslcSzB9kUbr0GICDoKeBGdcvrskyQGeNxWVM
We’ll have more on the fantastic failures of Merchant and Grulkowski later this week. For now, enjoy this cartoon, as a treat.