Another election-related incident, this one involving purported vote shredding, occurred in Montana. Earlier this week, Chip and Lisa Bennett filed a complaint with the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation alleging that Carbon County Elections Administrator Crystal Roascio tampered with votes on election night the year prior.
The Bennetts claims to have seen 21 batches of documents being shredded in a security video, but they were unable to count the number of pages in each batch. The county attorney said that the papers were merely copies of overseas ballots submitted over email and denied any illegality. Emails containing votes from abroad, according to a professor at the University of Montana, may have been printed, then destroyed because they weren’t official records.
Notwithstanding this justification, the Bennetts are still not persuaded by the official explanation, and they have previously argued with Roascio about other voting-related matters. If true, this case raises important concerns about the integrity of our electoral system; these concerns must be addressed before we can start to rebuild voter confidence.
If these accusations are accurate or not, and if so, what actions should be taken, can only be determined through an inquiry by the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation. Until then, we must be on the lookout for attempts to erode public faith in our electoral system and hold those who try to rig the system accountable.