Statewide Race Results

Credit: Montana final 2020 vote counts by Eric Dietrich

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Election News

What’s at stake as new election laws go to trial

Over the next 10 days, attorneys on either side of Montana’s election administration lawsuit will explore how three challenged laws impact voters, election officials and voter confidence. Here’s a look at the arguments they laid out on day one.

Court strikes down new ballot distribution law

A Montana district court judge ruled Wednesday that a new law prohibiting ballot distribution to minors who will turn 18 by Election Day violates the state Constitution — resolving one question in an ongoing legal challenge to four election laws passed by the 2021 Legislature.

New allegations surface in Missoula County election

Last week, the Missoula County Republican Party determined there was “no voter fraud” in Missoula’s 2020 election. Now Rep. Brad Tschida has responded with new claims of incompetence or deliberate wrongdoing on the part of the county election office.

Shared State Podcast

Shared State: The politics of death and dying

In 2009, Montana was caught up in a heated national debate over whether terminally ill patients could expedite their deaths by taking lethal, physician-prescribed medication. More than a decade later, the state is still mired in disagreement about medical aid in dying, in part because courts and elected lawmakers have sidestepped the political hot-potato. Meanwhile, individual Montanans are confronting profound and personal questions about death in their own ways — including whether “good” deaths are even possible. 

In 2009, Montana was caught up in a heated national debate over whether terminally ill patients could expedite their deaths by taking lethal, physician-prescribed medication. More than a decade later, the state is still mired in disagreement about medical aid in dying, in part because courts and elected lawmakers have sidestepped the political hot-potato. Meanwhile,…

Shared State: Colstrip’s next chapter

There’s not much certainty for the coal industry these days. In Montana, four of the six owners of the Colstrip Power Plant live in states where legislation is requiring companies to wean themselves off of coal energy. Residents of Colstrip — a town that has grown and prospered because of that resource —  fear that any bad news for the industry will be even worse for them. Up against shifting markets and corporate interests, how can advocates for Colstrip ensure future stability for its residents?

Shared State: Bozeman is in a housing death spiral. Can local politics fix anything?

For decades, housing affordability has been a hot-button issue in Bozeman politics, a clear community pain point where the city’s elected leaders haven’t managed to deliver significant relief. As insider and outsider candidates campaigned for city offices in 2021, housing policy became the election’s key issue. The solution, some residents argued, was to elect working class advocates to positions of power. Key to getting the job done, others countered, is experienced, incumbent leadership. 

Shared State: Popularity’s slippery slope

Whitefish has a reputation as a charming ski destination in Montana’s northwest corner that welcomes wayward strays, whether that’s for a season or a lifetime. That attitude has helped grow small businesses and local watering holes, and keep friendly faces on the slopes and behind the bar. But in recent years, more and more people have been drawn to the good thing Whitefish has going on. Locals fear that surging popularity — and skyrocketing cost of living — could push out the very characters that make this place so special.

More Shared State

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Congressional races up and running

Candidates running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives have filed their requisite paperwork as of 5 p.m. Monday, bringing the tally of active candidates up to nine Republicans, six Democrats, four Libertarians and one Independent.


Federal judges order new map for 2022 utility board election

A panel of federal judges has ordered Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen to use a court-drawn district map for this year’s Public Service Commission elections, shifting the district assignments for four Montana counties days before the March 14 candidate filing deadline for the two PSC seats up for election this year.

Election crimes alleged in Phillips County

Last week, Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen announced that two people had been arrested and pleaded guilty to alleged election crimes in Phillips County during the 2021 municipal election. In fact, multiple sources confirm, neither was arrested, nor did they plead guilty.

Republican minority presses for election investigation in ‘court of public opinion’

On Tuesday, a group of Republican state lawmakers identifying themselves as an “ad hoc election integrity committee” convened at a hotel in downtown Helena to hear presentations and public comment questioning the security of Montana’s elections. One of those lawmakers, Sen. Theresa Manzella, R-Stevensville, told Montana Free Press that the meeting, which was not a…

Missoula GOP aims to fact-check election fraud allegations

For nearly a year, Republican Rep. Brad Tschida’s allegations of discrepancies in Missoula County’s 2020 election have gone unresolved. Now, citing voters’ professions of waning faith, the Missoula County Republican Party has hatched a plan to determine if there’s any truth to his claims.

Taxpayers foot bill for legislators’ ‘election fraud’ trip

In August, six Montana Republican lawmakers attended a South Dakota symposium on 2020 election fraud hosted by MyPillow founder Mike Lindell. Records obtained by Montana Free Press show that two of those lawmakers received taxpayer-funded reimbursements for the trip.

Election critics press their case for special legislative committee

Speaking to Montana’s legislative leadership Monday, Sen. Theresa Manzella and Rep. Brad Tschida pressed their case for a special committee to investigate the state’s 2020 election. The appeals came after the pair failed to convince Attorney General Austin Knudsen to sign a proposed lawsuit crafted by MyPillow founder Mike Lindell challenging the results of last…

Election fraud argument gets an audience with Montana’s Department of Justice

Attorney General Austin Knudsen’s office has confirmed a previously unreported meeting with MyPillow founder Mike Lindell and election skeptic state Sen. Theresa Manzella, R-Stevensville, on Nov. 10. At the time, Lindell was attempting to gain the support of state attorneys general in a lawsuit challenging the 2020 presidential election.

Pulling back the curtain on Missoula County’s election processes

Earlier this year, a group of Missoula citizens led by Rep. Brad Tschida leveled allegations of voting irregularities in the county’s 2020 election. Missoula County Election Administrator Bradley Seaman is trying to combat those claims by opening the election process up to public scrutiny.


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