My Right to Vote is Being Challenged

by jhwygirl

I am cautiously emerging from a 3-day fog of Dayquil/Nyquil (more Nyquil than Dayquil) to find that my right to vote is being challenged by the Montana Republican Party.

Found it out thanks to Forward Montana’s searchable database of challenged voters.

This is pure bullshit. I’ve lived at the same address for just about 5 years (only a few days shy).

As soon as I finish writing this, I’ll be figuring out what the Montana GOP’s grounds were to challenging my vote – because as far as I’m concerned, they’ve now filed a fraudulent challenge with the intent to disrupt my lawful right to vote.

I read back in my 4 days of emails and I find that the Montana Republican Party is challenging the votes of journalists, former legislators, veterans and Army Reservists called up to serve in Iraq.

Lt. Governor John Bohlinger wrote an op-ed for the Montana Standard this past Sunday, listing a few of the disgraceful challenges the Montana Republican Party put forth for this upcoming election:

Kevin Furey, former legislator who left the legislature to serve in Iraq
Cindie Kalan-Green, serving in Iraq
Mathew Robison, deployed to Fort Drum
Chelsi Moy, the Missoulian journalist broke the story
Babe Aspholm, an elderly man from Anaconda who merely moved across town to live in a senior living center
Tom Detonacour, a Deer Lodge County policeman
Frank St. Pierre, 86 – a 10 time Medal of Honor recipient for his service in WWII
Mrs. St. Pierre

Yep – this is the Republican Party, folks. Now we know what Karl Rove was doing in town a few months ago.

Look – these guys are proud of it. The Montana Republican Party has promised more voter challenges.

And lest anyone – any Republican – try and tell you that the Montana Republican Party’s vote suppression activities aren’t voter suppression – that it’s about (as Steve Dogiakos, Republican candidate for HD-93, and president of the UM Republicans) having “factual and actual voters,” know this: Forward Montana tried for over 3 hours to get a list of challenged voters from the Montana Republican Party. Jack Eaton, executive director of the Montana GOP said that he would refuse to share that list.

So clearly, for the Montana Republican Party, this isn’t about preventing some sort of voter fraud – of which their own man up there in Helena said there has been no evidence of – it is about suppressing votes, pure and simple.


Someone around here asked me “How many Republicans are you voting for/praising on your blog? Eh?”

That would be none. And don’t expect that to change any time in the near or far future. By throwing this kind of chaos into the election process, they don’t deserve anything less than complete and utter disdain. In fact, the Montana Republican Party should be held criminally liable for fraudulently disrupting the election process.

  1. How these guys still have the hubris to call themselves patriots, I have no idea.

  2. Ryan Morton

    They supported the PATRIOT Act, duh…

  3. nine people on my street are being challenged for their right to vote here in Missoula. ages 19-60. neighbors of mine. this is criminal behavior and if the justice system rewards it so help me i want some judges to lose their jobs. america needs to stop rewarding bad behavior.

  4. Give them those website links, problembear. Give them that 1-866 number. Urge them to speak.

  5. one lady lost her husband recently and she is wheelchair bound.

    check the list for your street name in the search box and see if anyone needs any help. these cockroaches can’t be allowed to get away with intimidating voters.

  6. goof houlihan

    What is intimidating about the challenge, or otherwise “disenfranchising”?

    No challenges that I know of in the Gallatin. Too bad. I’d prefer a first hand experience to know what is so tough about the process.

  7. Put yourself in the place of that 86-year old 10-time Medal of Honor recipient and veteran of WWII, or his wife, and think about that again, goof.

    Probably hard enough for him to get out of bed and make his coffee in the morning, yet alone read some official looking letter from the county clerk telling him that his right to vote in a presidential election is being challenged and he needs to do this and that and this and that.

    What if that were your father or you mother?

    Challenging a right to vote is not fun and games, goof. I’m shocked that you framed it they way you did…like it’s a ‘new experience’ or something.

    I take voting very seriously. Challenging my right to vote is war.

  8. goof houlihan

    They’d both be fine. They’re both mentally competent as I’m sure the examples you give are as well.

    Ballot issues can be very difficult to understand, one of the reasons I don’t like lawmaking by ballot. We expect voters to understand them and vote.

    As I asked, what is it YOU have to do to respond to the challenge that Vicki hasn’t sent out yet? How does it disenfranchise you?

    and no one is a ten time MOH recipient.

  9. CharleyCarp

    I’m gratified to see Republicans coming out in favor of frivolous lawsuits.

  10. What I know is that an affidavit was sworn out and signed and submitted to the Missoula County Clerk & Recorder’s office, elections, challenging me as an eligible voter. That, in and of itself, was a fraudulent act. There are laws that must be followed, under Title 13, in order to legitimately challenge a vote.

    Fraud, perjury….aw, hell, what difference does it make? They had a goal to insert chaos into the mix and to disrupt the election. The crime was committed when they submitted the challenge to my registration – not when (and if) I get a notice from the County Clerk. In fact, if I don’t get one, it supports my allegations.

  11. goof- the point is not how hard it is to prove that the voter has the right to vote- the point is that republican operatives are gaming the system to gain an advantage by putting an obstacle in the way of voters in heavily democratic precincts just like they are doing in contested areas all accross the country. this is not confusing to you is it? i mean. everybody else gets it. it has nothing to do with any desire to ascertain the sanctity of the vote- it has everything to do with attempting to cheat your republican friends into office by caging votes. no-one should be allowed to bother my right to vote in the slightest, especially when the attempt to mess with my right to vote is a cynical and diabolical tactic designed to dissuade me from casting it by making it harder to do. your hypocritical and patronizing defence of this tactic is shameful and should be embarrassing to one who advertises himself as reasonable.

  12. Jim Lang

    What could be more un-American than trying to deny people their right to vote? And the laws in Montana are pretty clear: changing your mailing address does not disqualify you from voting.

    This is one bonehead move that the GOP will live to regret.

  13. James

    I would do some fact checking first. The most glaring one, one that I didn’t even need to research, is no one has been awarded the medal of honor 10 times. Only a few have been awarded it twice.

  14. Mine was challenged too, but they got it right, I have registered in Idaho. Of course I already informed the SOS of that move . . .

  15. cece – you are giving these cagey operatives too much credit. they didn’t get anything right. they wouldn’t know how to get it right if they had guides. whatever the republican party is paying these guys is too much. they alienated the voters of montana with this bonehead move and the candidates they work for will pay for it dearly this november. they had no business doing this in the first place and they know it now. learning on the job can be costly.

    montana voters take their right to vote very seriously and now Jake Eaton, Erik Iverson and Brad Johnson can draw back their bloody stumps and retreat back to the bat cave to lick their wounds and ponder the significance of what just happened. democracy and freedom win the day.

  16. Ele from Montana

    The one case that should be investigated is being ignored by the GOP, the Office of Political Practices and the SOS, Brad Johnson. The one that involves a candidate who lives in a house that both he and his wife purchased(over 2 years ago) located in another district, pays property tax to that other district and both work in that other district but he continues to run for office in a district that he claims he intends to return to when ever.

  17. Mayor of Mayhem

    Goof, The question isn’t how easy is it to fix! The question is why tolerate such nonsense. The right to vote is sacred is the U.S. We aren’t from some banana republic. You need to bitchslap these guys hard.

  18. goof houlihan

    You’re right. We aren’t some bananna republic where votes can be bought or inducements offered for votes.

    And yes, your “right to vote” can be questioned, absolutely. For example, offering inducements to vote is illegal. Were you paid for your vote? Illegal. Voting twice? Illegal. Misrepresenting yourself to the election administrator? Illegal. We have a rule of law, not the rule of the mob.

  19. “…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave- the last full measure of devotion- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”- Abraham Lincoln. Gettysburg address.

    we can take heart that enough people still care about these words to take action when tyrants attempt to usurp our rights.

    laws are enacted for the purpose of protecting the innocent, Goof- the GOP has it all backwards as usual.

  20. ricardo

    It was reported today that they are backing off:

    I hope people don’t let them off the hook so easy.

  21. problem bear (welcome to 4&20) –

    Oh I am not giving them credit for getting one right, the vast majority are wrong wrong wrong. Actually, even their challenge to mine was wrong, but I have already registered in ID, so I could not vote, and remain lawful, in the Montana election.

    And frankly, I am rubbing my hands together in glee with what idiocy came up with this plan. They have shot themselves in some vital appendage, and this will not be something that the GOPers can recover from in Montana anytime soon. That’s like getting a ginger snap cookie for life with my morning coffee, courtesy of the GOP. Thank you, that was delicious.

  22. So Cece, because you are following the law, we should assume all others are as well? You know you can’t legally vote twice, and that’s enough to stop you. What about those who are also in your position who don’t have the character that you do? What mechanism is in place to prevent miscreants from voting in two states?

  23. BTW, I hope school is going well for you.

  24. Montana Missy – maybe you could give mr eaton a hand in court next week with those arguments doug, and if jake asks you where you got all your knowledge you could just tell him you stayed at a holiday inn. i would pay to watch.

  25. Yes Cece, I miss the rational debates we used to have…

  26. Oh, we’re a banana republic, all right:

    “…the chief principle of banana-ism is that of kleptocracy, whereby those in positions of influence use their time in office to maximize their own gains, always ensuring that any shortfall is made up by those unfortunates whose daily life involves earning money rather than making it.”

    — Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair, 10/9/08

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