EPC Demands Misinformation Be Removed From County Website

EPC Demands Misinformation Be Removed From County Website

Late last week, an alarming and factually inaccurate post appeared on the Cascade County Website. The Election Protection Committee responded, asking the County to remove the post immediately. Read the full letter below:

To: Cascade County Commissioners Joe Brigg, Jim Larson, Rea Grulkowski County Clerk and Recorder, Sandra Merchant and County Attorney Josh Raki.


We are writing to respond to a post placed on the County Elections Website lobbying the public to oppose Resolution 23-62. We believe the post is highly inappropriate. It is also inaccurate. For example, the first sentence in bright red block letters states: “To all registered voters in Cascade County- your right to vote is in jeopardy! Regardless of how the controversy over the resolution is resolved no one will lose their right to vote.

The next sentence states, “Two of the County Commissioners have stated their intention to nullify the 14,000+ votes that were cast November 8, 2022, for the current Clerk & Recorder/Elections Administrator.” No county commissioners have stated an intention to nullify any votes. The argument is ridiculous. Anytime a political organization changes the law, you could say that it has “nullified” the votes of the supporters who adopted the law in the first place.

The post goes on to say the resolution is ….”overthrowing the election that took place and appointing a person of their choosing-not chosen by the people-to run the elections in the future.” The fact is Sandra Merchant will remain the Clerk and Recorder. She will continue to receive a salary, she will still have an office, oversee the vitals records, recordings and internal auditing functions of the position.

If passed, this resolution is changing the duties of the Clerk and Recorder’s office which is clearly within the purview of the County Commission. In fact this has already been done in seven Montana counties and more are likely to follow. There was no hue and cry when the accounting functions were removed from the clerk and recorder’s office. This is not a new idea; Commissioner Briggs brought this proposal forward long before Sandra Merchant was elected because it has been his belief that the election official should be a nonpartisan position.

With all of that said, given Sandra Merchant’s poor performance and the continuing litigation being faced by the county thanks to her errors and incompetence, we are fully in support of removing the election duties from her supervision and placing them in the hands of an experienced administrator supervised by the Commission.

We request that the unethical post be removed from the website with a statement that it was both inaccurate and inappropriate. We are researching the legality of county resources being used to lobby for a political position on a legally presented resolution.

Ken Toole for The Election Protection Committee