MTPR

Corey Stapleton

Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton.
Montana Secretary of State's Office

Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton faced criticism this week for awarding a $265,000 contract to a political ally. The Associated Press reported that Stapleton paid longtime political ally Jake Eaton $265,000 for a rush printing job to fix mistakes in the Montana state voter information pamphlet.

Now, MTPR has learned that Stapleton has other financial ties to Eaton, and has also hired Eaton's wife to defend the Secretary of State’s office in court.

Ex-GOP Leader Awarded $265K Election Print Job

Oct 24, 2018
Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton. File photo.
Montana Secretary of State.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's Republican secretary of state told officials to award an emergency $265,000 contract to a printing company owned by a Republican political consultant and former executive of the state GOP for mailers that would fix mistakes in the state's election guide.

Requests For Absentee Ballots Grow, Despite Concerns Behind LR-129

Oct 23, 2018

By the numbers alone, absentee ballots are a big hit with Montana voters – and getting bigger.

As of Oct. 22, with two weeks of campaigning still to go, officials reported sending out more than 406,000 absentee ballots. That’s almost 50,000 more than were sent to voters in Montana’s 2016 presidential election.

Mistakes In Montana Voter Guide Cost $265,000

Oct 12, 2018
An image of part of the email from Montana's Secretary of State office announcing errors in the state Voter Information Pamphlet
Montana Secretary of State's office

The official Montana voter information pamphlet many voters have received contains formatting errors. An addendum correcting them has now been mailed out at a total cost of more than $265,000.

In an email yesterday, Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton announced that the one page addendum was being mailed.

Voters at the Missoula County ballot drop-off center, May 23, 2017.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Montana is preparing to replace its more than decade-old voter registration system as part of a federal grant program to improve election security.

However, Secretary of State Corey Stapleton says not all those improvements will be in place ahead of the 2018 midterms.

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