Yellowstone County officials are reviewing what happened during the Election Day ballot count that delayed voter returns from the state’s most populous county by several days. Election administrator Brett Rutherford told county commissioners Tuesday he will prepare a report for them on what went wrong and will recommend improvements. “Obviously, we had some problems election night,” Rutherford said. “I want to look at the whole thing from top to bottom,” he added.
Creases from mailed absentee ballots jammed the county’s machines, which caused the counting to go on for three days after last Tuesday’s election. Yellowstone County was the last in Montana to report its results.
Rutherford said he had problems getting help from the machines’ vendor when the machines became gummed up.
Suggestions for improvements that were discussed include mailing flat absentee ballots instead of folded ones, counting absentee ballots before Election Day and hiring on-site technical support for the entire process, the Billings Gazette reported.
Other ideas include all-mail elections, more election staff and more polling places to control traffic.