Why Is Missoula County “Beaming” About Election Integrity?

by Travis Mateer

For two years a cloud of suspicion has been hovering over Missoula County’s election process. Now, thanks to the efforts (which means money) of Missoula’s local Republican Central Committee, the clouds of suspicion, we are told, have dissipated.

Missoula County praised its election’s staff on Thursday after a paid recount of signature envelopes submitted during the 2020 General Election found that a private group’s allegations of election fraud were unfounded.

According to the Missoula County Elections Office, the recount conducted this week and funded by the local Republic Central Committee found a 0.09% difference from the 71,924 affirmation envelopes counted by the county in November 2020.

The recount found 71,853 affirmation envelopes, representing a discrepancy of just 71 envelopes.

So, was this private group just cognitively challenged, or were they playing out some fever-fantasy implanted in their brain by Qanon? That speculation is left to the readers. The main takeaway is that the Democrats who run this town are REALLY happy that they can tell voters ALL IS WELL in Missoula County.

That’s why the former Montana Democrat spokesperson (Martin “Gomer” Kidston) chose the BEAMING verb for his article title, pairing it with the SINKING of the allegations this recount represents.

Can you feel the glee coming from Missoula officials?

“Hopefully this puts to rest Rep. (Brad) Tschida’s specious and mean-spirited allegations that he’s been propagating, and we can move on from this,” Commissioner Dave Strohmaier said Thursday.

The funny part of all this is how the ostensible leader of Republicans in Missoula, Vondene Kopetski, played the savior role for Missoula Democrats. This is especially hilarious considering the incompetence Vondene Kopetski displayed in the pathetic challenge of Mayor Engen. Remember how Republicans in Missoula couldn’t even find the money to pay for access to a voter database? But there’s apparently PLENTY of money when it comes to convincing Missoula voters our elections are full of sunlight and integrity.

I hope Democrats find a way to properly thank Vondene for her assistance. Without Republican incompetence, the unquestioned thriving of Democrats in this valley might actually be threatened.

Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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11 Responses to Why Is Missoula County “Beaming” About Election Integrity?

  1. Roy says:

    It was also Vondene who waited till three months before the mayoral primary to even put out a call for a challenger to generational Mayor John Engen. Vondene hasn’t won an election for Republicans in forever and is truly a gift to Missoula County Democrats. She also called the police on me when I attended a meeting of the Missoula County Republican Central Committee telling the officer who escorted me out that it was a “private club”. I think Missoula Republicans should take Vondene seriously when she describes “her” organization as a “private club” and conservatives should ask themselves for whose benefit is the private club ran for? I am not the only one she has called the police on or shooed away from her “club”.

  2. Concern Troll says:

    The cognitive dissonance of having facts challenge your conspiracy addled brains must be tough Roy and Travis. Kidston is a shmuck yes but you two take the cake of being able to bake your own narratives regardless of any facts. You might as well be 8kun QAnon believers because you’re literally following the same playbook. I recommend a good therapist for both of you and staying away from the Internet’s. It would do you both a world of good.

  3. tvfmontana says:

    So what did it prove? The # of signed envelopes? Against what? The # of votes recorded? As long as MT uses the ES&E machines to report the districts’ vote tallies to the SOS, there’s still the chance of vote fraud. In case you haven’t seen this re the “recount”

  4. Big Swede says:

    My personal voter fraud story.

    I was going to college in Chicago and it was election day in the mid 70’s. Running around the dorm were several “vote harvesters” from the local community asking us to come down to the local polling place to vote. Problem was a great majority of students were out of staters. When I confronted the “harvesters” the response was, “doesn’t matter we’ll get your vote counted”.

    Fast forward to the 2000’s and we have same day registration and college ID’s as proper identification.

    But no more, Republicans passed laws to kill the “same day scam” and student ID’s. So frankly our State party has done more to stem voter fraud, especially in Missoula, than the local politicians.

    • JC says:

      Hey Swede, nice to see you dropping by! Even “out-of-staters” have the right to vote in Montana.

      As to voter fraud, this is the requirement to vote in Montana, from the Republican-led Secretary of State’s office:

      “To vote in Montana, you must:

      • Be registered as required by law.
      • Be 18 years old or older on or before the next election.
      • Be a citizen of the United States.
      • Have lived in Montana for at least 30 days.”

      So, I don’t know how a student who meets those requirements (most students who come here for fall semester are at least 18 and have been here longer than 30 days by election time), and voting in Montana constitutes voter fraud. Enlighten me. You may not like same day registration, but if its the law… its the law.

      Conversely, I believe that a lot of fraud occurs when republicans try to disenfranchise people who are eligible to vote, by creating barriers to voting (lots of court precedence on this issue…). Fraud, at least economically, is to swindle someone out of something that is rightly theirs–as in their right to vote.

  5. Big Swede says:

    Does the voting requirement on your link need to be updated?

    “The 2021 Montana Legislature also changed the voter ID law to say college students could no longer use just their student ID to register and vote and needed some other proof of residence, such as a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or other government document that shows their name and current address.

    The law clearly targets young voters, Somers-Flanagan said.

    Having a voter ID law in place increases voter confidence in elections, Schowengerdt said, adding that plaintiffs have no evidence to show the law was intended to discriminate against young voters.

    Another law being challenged applies to distributing ballots to people who would turn 18 or gain Montana residency in the month prior to an election. While would-be voters are allowed to pre-register to vote if they will be eligible to vote on Election Day, the law states they cannot receive a ballot and vote until they are legally eligible.”-Indian Country Today

    • JC says:

      Tell me which is worse: a person voting who isn’t legally registered, or a person not voting because registration is too onerous? Which is fraud?

      Also, a lot of restrictions on voting registration are being challenged in court. We’ll see how it all washes out. Time to dust off the 1965 Voter’s Right Act and modernize it? Seems like vote suppression has taken on a whole new angle these days.

      • Big Swede says:

        I’ll tell what’s worse.

        Paying out of state tuition as a non-resident and voting in Missoula’s local elections.

        • JC says:

          But that’s what the law allows. Sorry if you don’t like it. But there is much precedence on this issue.

          Obviously there are good reasons for treating a student as out of state for purposes of paying tuition, which is subsidized by montana tax payers. If you only want to qualify people to vote based on student residency status, then there are a whole lot of other issues to consider. Like non residents running for montana office (Zinke). But I suppose because he’s a wealthy politician we’ll find a way to make it ok.

    • JC says:

      Looks like the Billings District Court didn’t think much of the 4 new laws the GOP passed restricting voting rights. It’ll probably end up in the state supreme court after the final ruling, and I pretty much can guess they’ll uphold it.


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