Election Deniers are gathering petition signatures to repeal the resolution which removed Sandra Merchant from election administration.  Pictured here is a sign at the local Republican Central Committee office on 10th Avenue South. Before getting to the petition effort of the election denier conspiracists, let’s remind ourselves that Sandra Merchant was failing at her responsibilities administering elections here in Cascade County.  The County Commission made its decision to remove those duties from Merchant based on poor job performance. . .nothing more.  For a detailed account follow this link  https://dailymontanan.com/2024/01/14/election-errors-forced-the-cascade-county-commission-to-act/.    Despite the facts, the local election conspiracy crowd, primarily housed in the Republican Pachyderm Club, argued that the decision was a power grab by Commissioners Larson and Briggs.  They have ranted and raved, pointed fingers and shaken their fists.  Now they are circulating a petition to repeal the county ordinance which removed election duties from Sandra Merchant. In order to place their repeal effort on the ballot the sponsors have 90 days from the date the resolution was effective. That date is December 12, 2023.  So they will have to turn in their signatures somewhere around March 10th.  They must have signatures from 15% of qualified electors in the county. That’s about 5,500 signatures, but that is the number of valid signatures required. They will need to gather many more than the minimum number to make up for invalid signatures that come into the process.  The law also requires “The form of the petition must be approved by the county election administrator.” Does that mean Devereaux Biddick, who is the acting election administrator appointed by the County Commissioners on a temporary basis, reviewed and approved the form of the petition?  Biddick is an election denier and close political ally of Sandra Merchant. In fact she was hired by Sandra Merchant to work in the elections office shortly after Merchant took office in January 2023.  We wonder if her direct supervisors, Commissioner Joe Briggs and Commission Chair Jim Larson had any idea she was working on approving this petition.

ETA: An earlier version of this post indicated the petitioners has 60 days to gather signature. This has been corrected. The petitioners have 90 days to gather signatures.