MISSOULA - Staff members — along with 34 volunteers — are hard at work at the Missoula County Elections Office ensuring that integrity and accuracy are upheld during the upcoming election.
“I stamp it so you can tell it’s an official ballot,” said volunteer Vance Bennett.
Sitting, stamping and stuffing ballots side-by-side are Vance and Pam Bennett who have volunteered at the Missoula County Election Office for nearly a decade.
“We can put an ‘I voted’ sticker in it, instruction sheet, secrecy envelope, and then that envelope goes in there,” explained Vance Bennett as he stuffed a ballot envelope.
The team of two is just one of 17 pairs working on stuffing a little under 60,000 ballots for the November election.
The Vances come back year after year to do their part in public service.
“You know when I run across someone that has a complaint about the process, I kind of tell them what I do and I explain the process," Vance Bennett told MTN News. "And they go ‘wow, I had no idea.’ Because they don’t understand the process. You know, there are no real secrets about what’s going on.”
The office has hosted public tours before, and Missoula County Elections Administrator Bradley Seaman says this won’t be the last.
“Public tours have really just taken our transparent process and formalized it,” said Seaman. “What this leads to is better understanding of the process and then what that ultimately relates to is confidence in the vote.”
Ballots for the November election are being mailed out on Oct. 14 to active voters.