This is the first year the Secretary of State held an art contest to determine the front cover of 2014 voter pamphlet. The Secretary of State Linda McCulloch sifted through numerous submissions and personally selected the winning artwork.
This year's first art contest winner is Jason O'Neal of Helena. O'Neal says he couldn't have been more surprised when he learned his photo was selected.
"I was elated, I submitted my picture..ya know halfheartedly, being newer to photography I don't have much of a thought that I would actually win," O'Neal said. "So when I got the call I was actually elated."
Although he's new to the photography business, a number of his photos are on display and for sale at The Root boutique. O'Neal says most of his works are places he finds while traveling around montana with his family.
"Why not capture the moments on film, and ya know if I enjoy it great, if others enjoy it, that's great to," O'Neal said.
In fact, a portion of the money O'Neal makes from selling his art is donated to non-profit charity called, "Charity Water."
McCulloch said she chose O'Neal's photo because it's style and layout was fit for a cover.
"I thought that it was so attractive the way it had the simple tree and the field then the sun coming down," McCulloch said. "It was very uncluttered for a cover."
Registered voters can expect to see their voter pamphlets arrive in the mail in September.