GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Nearly 30 of Montana’s election officials gathered in Great Falls this week for a three-day training on the state’s future election management system, electMT. The Secretary of State’s Election Division hosted the training session, its fourth in as many weeks.
The Elections Division, which includes Elections and Voter Services Manager Stuart Fuller; Elections Specialists Kyler Baker and Mark Carpenter; and Business Analyst Lisa Schlosser, highlighted electMT’s features and updates, while also demonstrating day-to-day activities such as voter registration and address changes.
The new system provides a more modern, streamlined approach than its outdated predecessor, Montana Votes.
“It has been a lot of information, but it’s really exciting to see how much technology is progressing and what we can offer for us to use and take back and better service our voters in a quicker, more seamless function,” said Beaverhead County Deputy Clerk and Recorder Kodi Laird. “I’m really excited for it.”
“I would agree. The reporting system seems like it’s a lot more functional, it’s a lot easier to adapt to,” added Heidi Stadel, Elections Administrator in Stillwater County. “Finding voters, everything just seems like it’s a lot easier and it’s a lot more functional. When we’re training new people, especially people that have experience with computers, it seems like it’s something they’re going to adapt to (more) than the other system.”
Election administrators will continue testing and training on the new software until its full implementation. Meanwhile, the Elections Division will conclude its statewide training next week in Missoula.
“We’re all very excited about it and we’re ready for it to be finished, but that process takes a little while because this is very extensive in what has to be in there to protect our voters,” said Toole County Election Administrator Treva Nelson.