Montana GOP Official Out After Failed Bid To Challenge Voters

October 15, 2008 1:00 p.m.

Sometimes there’s justice in the world.

Earlier this month, Montana Republicans decided to challenge thousands of voters in predominantly Democratic areas, based on discrepancies in their addresses.

The GOP hastily withdrew the challenge after it sparked an outcry.

But now, the party’s executive director has resigned, just three weeks before the election.

No one’s saying on the record that Adam Eaton’s departure is a result of the challenge fiasco. But the Missoulian reports: “Last week, rumors were running rampant in political circles that Eaton would be pushed out because of the much-criticized effort to challenge voter registrations.”

The challenges appeared to win the party no friends in the state. After it was revealed that among the challenged voters was a member of the Army Reserve about to deploy to Kuwait, and an 86-year old Second World War hero, even some local Republicans denounced the gambit.

Democrats in the state had gone to court to block the challenges. The Republicans withdrew them before a ruling was made, but not before the judge issued an order charging: “The timing of these challenges is so transparent that it defies common sense to believe the purpose is anything but political chicanery.”

Eaton told the paper he’s going to work for an equity consulting form based in Madison, Wisconsin.

He’ll be replaced by former state representative Larry Grinde of Lewiston.

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