Montana: Secretary of State Corey Stapleton plans to implement new election software in 2020. Election officials worry that’s too fast. | Alex Sakariassen/Montana Free Press
County elections officials are expressing “grave concerns” over Secretary of State Corey Stapleton’s plan to implement a new statewide election system in time for the 2020 elections. Stapleton’s plan calls for Montana counties to begin transitioning from the state’s decade-old Montana Votes election system to a new suite of election software as early as January. Stapleton’s office inked an exclusive $2 million contract with South Dakota-based information technology company BPro on April 30. Missoula County Chief Administrative Officer Vickie Zeier said the secretary’s staff in early June assured county officials that a final determination on the state’s readiness for the transition will not be made until December. However, emails acquired through a public-records request show Stapleton’s office set its sights on implementing the new software in time for the 2020 elections months ago. In a June 20 letter to Stapleton, the Montana Association of Clerks and Recorders (MACR) called that timeline “very worrisome,” adding, “our suggested implementation goal would be 2021.”Full Article: Montana Secretary of State's plan worries elections officials | Montana Free Press.