When your biggest worry is too many votes will make you lose — you should lose. That is the fear that is being expressed by a Montana Republican: if too many people vote, they are going to lose their seat to a Democrat.
Rachel Maddow reported on this very strange problem, she dedicated about 20 minutes to it to fill in all of the blanks and give a complete picture of what is happening in Montana.
Here is the Cliffs-Notes version:
One death in Montana caused the 2016 election in Montana cost 50 percent more than it should have. That may not really interest you because you probably don’t live in Montana. What you need to know is that the cost of elections is not subsidized by state or federal dollars, it falls to counties and townships with strained budgets to foot the bill.
Montana is going to have to have a special election to replace their Congressman Ryan Zinke, who will likely be Trump’s Secretary of the Interior. That means that they are going to have to pay for yet another election, probably around March of this year. An election they can ill afford.
S0, a “fiscally responsible” bill was proposed by Republicans to run that upcoming election by mail. It would save Montana counties between half and three-quarters of a million dollars on the election. Apparently, that would also make it far too easy to vote.
The GOP chairman has now put out an emergency memo to remind his fellow Republicans that this is a disaster. His memo basically breaks down to, if it is too easy to vote, more people will do it and the Democrats are going to win. He even acknowledges that by having an in-person election they are deviating from the Republican tenet of being frugal. Because, apparently, they have to do it in a wasteful manner or they will have far too much voter participate and they could lose.
In this case, it seems pretty obvious, a mail-in ballot would help already strapped counties, that it is feasible and correct. The GOP actually suggested it, and the plan had bipartisan support. However, it scares the establishment so badly that they are willing to trash it.
Doing the right thing for the voters, for the budget, and for Montana isn’t the GOP priority, apparently. The right thing, according to the GOP chair, is to make it harder to vote on purpose so that the party maintains control even though they do not represent those who live in the state.