The Greatest Story Ever Told – The Saga of SB 305: All Mail-in Ballots or Waste $750,000 Taxpayer Dollars?


Let’s look at the history, who is the fiscally responsible party in Montana?

Brian Schweitzer scraped together every penny and cut every wasteful program in the state when he was fighting the recession of 2007-08.

Steve Bullock followed suit and made the rainy day fund his Rubicon with Republicans as they attempt to drain the state coffers again and again to make wasteful decisions in the name of politics.

And again we see it in the 2017 legislative session as Republicans look to play politics with Montana taxpayer dollars. This time the issue is simple. The special election will be an unexpected cost to Montana counties so to alleviate costs to the state and counties an all mail-in ballot election was proposed. Everyone liked the idea. A $750,000 savings is not a small amount of money and everyone agreed, that is until the Essman Letter.

In the beginning there was the Essmann Letter.

Emergency Chairman’s Report on the Long-term negative impact on the Montana Republican Party and Republican candidates due to Mail Ballot Elections. TL;DR – More people voting is bad for Republicans.

Then the heavens opened: Governor Bullock Headlines Maddow, Stuffs GOP Chair

TL;DR – Governor Bullock proves that saving Montanans Money and Election Integrity go hand in hand. Essmann looks the fool.

A voice from our past and a beloved figure in Montana politics provides her commentary in: Conduct to be Condemned not Con-Doaned

TL;DR – Former State Senator Mary Sheehy Moe calls out Chairman of the Kill Committee, Alan Doane for reckless and abusive behavior during hearing for SB 305. Doane yells at nice old lady testifying and has her forcibly removed from hearing.

And then a devious green smoke poured into the hearing room and Secretary of State Stapleton appeared with his henchmen in: Secretary “Reefer Madness” Stapleton Brings Henchman to Intimidate Fitzpatrick at SB305 Hearing

TL;DR – How was this guy(Stapleton) elected to statewide office? He represents no one. He lies, he’s ignorant and he uses a bodyguard to try and intimidate fiscally responsible Republicans like Steve Fitzpatrick who want to save Montana taxpayers money. Also, marijauna has something to do with mail-in ballots?

A reasonable voice cuts through the din with their expertise and intelligence as an: OFFICIAL RESPONSE: Montana Clerk and Recorders Respond to Stapleton on SB305

TL;DR When these ladies talk you listen and you enact the policy they recommend that helps them uphold our election integrity.

And Finally, the kill committee kills the bill and Republicans Prove they are the Party of Voter Suppression and Wasting Montanans’ Money

TL;DR Vote the BUMS out.

The fight isn’t over yet though, a new hope may emerge…Call 406-444-4800 and tell your legislators to support a blast motion for SB 305. Call today, right now!


9 Comments on "The Greatest Story Ever Told – The Saga of SB 305: All Mail-in Ballots or Waste $750,000 Taxpayer Dollars?"

  1. SB 305 was introduced by a Republican legislator. It was backed by County Commissioners and County Elections officials of both parties from one end of Montana to the other. Scores of people from both parties showed up to the Judiciary Committee hearing to support the passage of the bill. How the Republicans on the Committee felt that tabling the bill was the most statesmanlike thing to do escapes me. Their actions are going to cost EVERY Montana County money unnecessarily. Some worthy or necessary project in every County is going to go unfunded, some position is going to go unfilled or furloughed because of some childish, peevish point of view. As with all naked acts of evil, let us never forget the actions by the Committee’s Republicans.

  2. Your coverage of SB305 has been incredible! May we never forget such partisan politics and how it will impact the people of Montana.

  3. I understand why strong supporters of a all mail ballot for this special understand are upset with this committees actions by voting to table. It should come as no surprise this happened as soon as GOP Chairman came out against this. The 11 republican members are strong party supporters with most being on far right wing of party. Of these members only one had a close race winning by 8% In fact 7 of these GOP committee members won their election by 30% or more. Good luck holding anyone of them responsible in next election

  4. There need to be consequences to these 11 Republicans in the Committee responsible for this. They need to be personally held responsible to pay the $750 000 this will cost the taxpayers. We need to send a bill of $70 000 to each of them. Make it public, publish the cost for all precincts, use the information to help Rob Quist win this election! We can do this!

  5. Those advocating against the mail ballot are admitting that they can’t win in a fair election without resorting to voter suppression. This election is on a weekday, when many people cannot get off work.

  6. How much obstruction took place against the Public, during the Public comment session on SB 305?
    About how many of the public in the room? About how many Clerk/Recorder/Election Administrators?
    About what time did session begin, and end.
    How many minutes of comment allowed?
    About how many total minutes lost by forced expulsion from room?
    About how much time lost by rather forced rant and rave from our MT SOS?
    After that, about how much time when public commenters were allowed to only state name but NOT COMMENT?
    I’m guessing Majority Leader(s) had a hand in assigning SB 305 to House Judiciary Committee.
    What happened? Was the Committee refusing to hear that mail-in Ballots increase voter turnout?
    What’s the objective? Make County taxpayers/County budgets responsible for $500K+ over mail-in only Ballot, to pay for the Special Election at Polling places. The May 25 Special Election that will see low turnout, very low turnout from younger voters, and fairly good turnout from us older people with more time enabling our habit formed Voting at the Polls!
    And that might mean another few thousand Votes for Mr. Giantforce, compared to Vote on mail-in Ballot only Election. When it would be easy as pie for busy people to mark Ballots and return in them in the mail.
    There are giant forces already favoring Mr. Gianforte. He has twice the money of Rob Quist. Montana votes Republican. The Montana Democratic Party is missing in action in the Quist/Giantforte contest for Congress.
    Only makes sense to go for max dominance. Tip the scales. Kill in Commiittee SB 305 that would increase voter turnout and reduce County burden by $500K +.
    The objective remains. Get a few more thousand votes for Mr. Giantforte.
    Do remember that before and after THURSDAY May 25, 2017.

  7. EVERYONE apply for an absentee ballot and encourage others to do the same! If we got a smattering of evening news coverage we might get 80% of us to start doing so for every election. This prevents the “I forgot” and “just didn’t have time” as well as the “couldn’t get the time off” excuses for not voting. We’re all busy but if the ballot is laying on the kitchen counter and you can take your time to study ballot measures and candidates and make sure to choose the best one the result will be better for all of us. I switched because I had trouble keeping Judges and some minor office candidates straight in my mind. A dirty election booth with a line of waiting people isn’t conducive to geed decision making…

  8. SB 305 Blast motion fails. See the names of the 52 who voted to leave SB 305 in unjust Judiciary committee. Go to Holly Michels tweet of two hours ago to see picture of House vote tally board. With 48 names voting in favor of bringing SB to Floor debate and discussion and public voting about denying the people and professionals right to have standing to argue for the least expensive, highest turn-out form of Special Election.
    Standing for Counties and County taxpayers to protest unecessary Poll tax load being imposed by Legislature grossly neglecting to fund for Special Election.
    Neglecting to so fund, but extending new tax benefits to oil & gas Producers. While stubbornly refusing to roll back any of the billion dollar tax benefit extended to the top 1% of MT Income tax payers in 2004.
    For the record, maybe somebody could post a picture of names voting to leave three times-Killed SB 305 in HUJ Committee.

    • As of 2004 MDT, the legislature’s website still was not displaying the names of the legislators and how they voted. I don’t know whether there’s a problem with the system, or whether the information is being suppressed.

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