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Media Invited to Bill Signing Ceremony Wednesday
SB155 – Post Election Audits of Vote-Counting Machines

March 24, 2009

( Helena) – Secretary of State Linda McCulloch invites the media to attend a bill signing ceremony for SB155 on Wednesday, March 25, at 12:30 p.m. in the Governor’s Conference Room. SB155 was requested by the Secretary of State’s Office. It requires post election audits of vote-counting machines.

“This bill audits the voting machines, not the practices of our Clerks and Recorders. We have so many close races in Montana that we know from experience our Clerks and Recorders are doing a fine job in each of our 56 counties,” said McCulloch.

Senator Mike Cooney, who served as Montana’s Secretary of State from 1989-2001, sponsored the bill. It requires the Secretary of State’s Office to reimburse local governments for the costs associated with the random sample post-election audits. The funding will most likely stem from the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

“This law will reinforce Montana’s fair and accurate elections by confirming the accuracy of the vote count and the integrity of our elections system,” said McCulloch. “The audits will be completed in randomly selected precincts after each federal election.”

Senate Bill 155 was a collaborative effort between the office of the Secretary of State, the Montana Association of Clerks and Recorders and the League of Women Voters.

Representatives from each organization will be available for interviews following the ceremony.

SB155 can be found online at: http://laws.leg.mt.gov/laws09/law0203w$.startup