An audit of mail-in ballots cast in Montana for the 2020 presidential election reveals a host of irregularities including evidence that “one or several persons may have filled out and submitted multiple ballots” and the failure of a county elections office to provide video footage of vote-counting.
“The story at hand begins during the pandemic summer of 2020, when the then-governor, Democrat Steve Bullock, issued a directive permitting counties to conduct the general election fully by mail,” John Lott, a noted crime and gun researcher, begins.
Lott, also a Senior Adviser for Research and Statistics at the Office of Justice Programs in the Trump administration, outlines the “troubling” conclusion of the state’s audit:
Its conclusions were troubling: 4,592 out of the 72,491 mail-in ballots lacked envelopes—6.33% of all votes. Without an officially printed envelope with registration information, a voter’s signature, and a postmark indicating whether it was cast on time, election officials cannot verify that a ballot is legitimate. It is against the law to count such votes. What’s more, according to auditors, county employees claimed that during the post-election audit, some of the envelopes may have been double-counted, possibly indicating an even higher number of missing envelopes.
The audit also tested a sample of 15,455 mail-in envelopes for defects.
“Of these, 55 lacked postmark dates and 53 never had their signatures checked—for a total of 0.7% of all ballots in the sample. No envelope had more than one irregularity. Extrapolating from the sub-sample, that would make more than 5,000 of Missoula County’s votes—roughly 7%—with unexplained irregularities,” Lott explains.
The audit also uncovered dozens of ballot envelopes that “bore strikingly similar, distinctive handwriting styles in the signatures, suggesting that one or several persons may have filled out and submitted multiple ballots, an act of fraud”:
One auditor asserted that of 28 envelopes reviewed from the same address, a nursing home, all 28 signatures looked “exactly the same” stylistically. Another auditor reported that among the envelopes she reviewed, two very unique signatures appeared dozens of times, describing one such signature as starting out flat, moving to a peak, and tapering out, and another as consisting of numerous circles—a “bubble signature.”
The probe also concerned auditors, as the county elections office “did not provide access to video footage it claimed to have recorded of vote-counting activities.”