Montana GOP Backs Off Voter Challenges

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October 8, 2008 3:10 p.m.

Score one for democracy.

The Montana GOP announced last night that it’s backing off its challenge to the legitimacy of thousands of voter registrations filed in predominantly Democratic areas of the state, which we told you about earlier this week.

In a letter to the head of the elections office of Missoula county — the county with the largest number of challenged voters — which was released to reporters last night, GOP chair Jacob Eaton wrote that the challenges were made in “good faith” but added:

“As a disabled combat veteran who has fought Al Queada (sic) to defend this country and our democracy and who has voted absentee en route to a war zone, I regret that my actions have been perceived as such.”

It had been reported that the list of challenged voters — which was based on discrepancies between addresses listed on registration forms and those obtained from a U.S. postal service database — included a member of the Army Reserve about to deploy to Kuwait, and an 86-year old Second World War hero.

A spokesman for the secretary of state’s office told The Missoulian that no one has ever complained to the secretary’s office of widespread voter fraud based on inaccurate voter addresses.

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