...But Voters Should Watch out for Sec. of State Brad Johnson!
By Brad Friedman on 11/28/2006, 9:35am PT  

As I was reading this excellent article by Ed Kemmick from Sunday's Billings Gazette I was preparing to mention how nice it would be if every state dealt with their election issues in such an adult and responsible manner as Kemmick reports would now seem to be occurring in Montana, where the state mandates a paper ballot for every vote cast.

I was also going to remark how nice it would be if the country's national media, such as WaPo, NY Times, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, et al. covered election issues with such sober, non-political, attention to detail.

I'll still strongly recommend Kemmick's piece for precisely those reasons (and for the superb quotes from the good John Gideon and others)...but then I got to the bottom where two paragraphs stuck out like a sore thumb from the rest of the reasoned discussion of the state's voting machines and what still needs to be done to assure accuracy and confidence in their system.

The final grafs covered statements from Montana's Secretary of State Brad Johnson, about the responsible proposals discussed in the rest of the article for dealing with remaining concerns in the state's electoral process. Without any mention elsewhere in the article regarding any concerns about voter identification issues in the state, Johnson sadly drops these turds into the bucket...

Secretary of State Johnson said his office will look at proposals to fine-tune the election process in light of problems encountered Nov. 7. Those might include making changes in same-day voter registration, which hamstrung some counties this year; tightening up identification requirements; and asking for stricter documentation for meeting residency requirements.

"Protecting the integrity of the process is the highest priority of our office," he said. That said, Johnson added, he wants to be careful not to add to the burdens on Montana election officials.

I've never heard of Johnson before, but after reading the above I decided to look him up. For some reason, I figured he might be a Republican. As it turns out, of course, he is. And apparently one who is still buying into the discredited notion of an American "Voter Fraud Epidemic" as being sold by the despicable Thor Hearne and his phony, discredited GOP front group, the so-called "American Center for Voting Rights".

Good luck, Montana. You seem to be heading in the right direction. But I'd watch out for that Johnson character whose statements would seem to indicate he's far more interested in partisan politicking then he is in watching out for what's in the best interest of the voters.

CORRECTION: This story originally referred to Wyoming instead of Montana in several places. That has now been corrected in the text above.