More than 56,000 election ballots shredded - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

More than 56,000 election ballots shredded

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Great Falls - It was was quite the scene outside the Cascade County Elections Office Friday as  thousands of ballots were shredded. 
The chaos centers around a new named being added to the printed ballots, which made the old ones obsolete.  More than 56,000 of them had to be destroyed.

It's going to cost the county a minimum of $30,000.which does not take into account possible overtime costs for the staff of 27 there, either. Now the money to cover the costs is coming from the county's general fund. Ballots had to be re-printed to add the new Libertarian candidate for Congress to the list.  Rick Breckenridge replaces Mike Fellows on the ticket after Fellows died earlier this week in a car accident.Election officials say this afternoon's shredding had to happen to avoid any confusion come Nov. 8. 

"And we wanted to make sure all the federal ballots were out of the office prior to the new ones coming in so there could not chance for an accident of any mike fellows ballots going out to anyone," said Rina Moore, Cascade Co. Clerk and Recorder. 

Moore says mailing out school election ballots will now have to be put on hold as well, and as for absentee ballots, Moore says 25,000 of those were ready to go, but again had to be shredded.

As for those serving in the military, they have the option to vote online through the Federal Voters Assistance Program by logging onto www.mt.sos.gov. If they don't want to wait for the new paper ballots to be mailed. and Moore says those online ballots will be sent directly to her office here in Cascade County. 

"And those still go to our election judges  those don't get counted until election day but that's the process for military and overseas voters if they don't want to wait for the mail ballot and then have the ballot mailed back to us,"  said Moore. 

Also, Friday was the deadline for the elections office to get those mailed, and Moore says luckily, they were able to mail out about 75%  of those new ballots out so far. 

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