AP NEWS

Potential voter fraud on a single ballot reported in Montana

June 16, 2017 GMT

MISSOULA — Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton’s office announced Friday that there was an incident of mail ballot voter fraud in Missoula during the special election held in May.

In posts on the Twitter feed of the Missoula County Elections Office, the department said the issue is not viewed as voter fraud but rather clerical error that was brought to the attention of the county canvass board and Stapleton’s office.

“Elections are held to a high standard, and we work hard to keep it high,” the post said.

Jason Marks, chief deputy county attorney in Missoula, said the issue concerns a single ballot.

“During the last election a woman contacted the elections office saying she had not cast an absentee ballot even though records say she did,” he said.

The signature on the woman’s absentee ballot did not match her signature. Marks said the woman reported that she lives in an apartment building and mail is occasionally delivered to the wrong unit.

The ballot’s signature was compared against other voters in the building but did not match any residents. Marks said they do not have a suspect, but that the incident will be investigated by law enforcement.

The Secretary of State’s office said in a news release there was a previous voter fraud incident in Missoula. Marks said a single ballot in the school election last spring had an issue similar to the one from last month’s. Investigators were not able to identify a suspect in that case.