The May federal election brought unexpected expenses for Montana counties. The election to replace Ryan Zinke comes just months after the statewide 2016 general election. There was a big push by county elections officials statewide to bring down that cost by having the option to conduct the election by all-mail ballots. “There was 169 out of 174 commissioners and probably 70% of them were republicans that supported this, all 56 clerk and recorders supported this and we just could not get them to take action on it,” said Cascade County Clerk and Recorder Rina Moore.
Moore estimates the poll election will cost Cascade County an additional $60,000, which means setting up all 7 polling locations and hiring 80 election judges.
“A lot of people think those are volunteers those aren’t volunteers those people are paid a minimum of $125 dollars a piece to stay there that day,” said Moore.
Despite several attempts, the Republican-controlled legislature killed the measure.