GREAT FALLS — Four elections results remain too close to call in the state of Montana: two candidate races, and two legislative measures.
The four in question are the Cascade County Clerk & Recorder race, a race for state representative district 15 in Kalispell, a measure to allow marijuana products within the town of Deer Lodge, and a measure to impose an excise tax on medical marijuana in Sanders County.
The difference between official voting counts are all under twenty, leading to the the races being automatically flagged for closer inspection.
“As of right now, these results are, of course, unofficial. Once the county, once the precincts are reporting in there, if there's a margin of one-fourth of 1% or not exceeding one-half of 1%, then those would be flagged automatically. It's not something that we do,” explained Richie Melby, Director of Communications at the Montana Secretary of State’s office.
The recounts are done by hand and are conducted by the corresponding county commissioners. They are, of course, open to the public, including media and candidates.
“In the statute, it says that representatives of the media may be present, so it's a public process. The candidates may also be present. One of the nice things about Montana's elections is that they're transparent. It's an open process, right from the beginning when they're testing the tabulating equipment to election day. All of this is a public process where the public is encouraged to participate, whether it be poll watching or being there at the election office as well,” said Melby.
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