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Montana Local & State PoliticsMontana Local & State Politics
McCulloch Statement on Welch Recount Withdrawal
Secretary of state said her office was ready to conduct recount
I've written two stories in recent days on the school superintendent race's recount, which appeared to be moving forward late last week but was stopped in its tracks yesterday when Republican Sandy Welch announced she hadn't raised enough money. But neither story included a response from Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, so I thought I'd include it here.

In a statement, McCulloch responded to Welch withdrawing her application for the recount. The state's chief elections official said a lot of effort had gone into preparing for the recount and her office was ready for it.

“We are disappointed that there will not be a recount," McCulloch said. "We were ready, counties were ready. We are confident that a recount would not have changed the race results, but we were ready to do one. A lot of public time and resources has been spent preparing for the huge task of conducting a statewide recount of more than 468,000 ballots cast in the race. County election administrators have been extremely cooperative and professional as the days and weeks passed while we waited for a petition for recount to be filed, waited through a court hearing, and waited for the cash payment of the costs to Montana taxpayers of the recount.”

McCulloch agreed with the court's finding that no harm to the state would result from a recount funded by Welch. She also defended Montana's election administrators. Welch had requested the recount based on allegations of numerous errors by both voting machines and election judges.

“Administering elections is a complex and time-consuming job," McCulloch said. "Most Montana election administrators are also clerks and recorders and have a myriad of duties to contend with. They do an admirable job ensuring the integrity of each election, and I am proud of their efforts. My office will continue to work for uniformity and accuracy in the administration of state and federal elections."
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