Democrat lawmaker attempted to vote twice in veto override polls

Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen expressed her strong dissatisfaction in a strongly-worded letter to legislative leadership on Friday. She accused a Democratic lawmaker of engaging in “fraudulent” double-voting during multiple veto override polls. However, Democrats leaders characterized the lawmaker’s actions as an honest mistake, downplaying any intentional wrongdoing.

Billings Democrat Sen. Kathy Kelker, submitted two sets of responses to polls that Jacobsen’s office conducts for legislation vetoed by the governor after the Legislature adjourned.

The are sent to all lawmakers for such bills that received at least the minimum two-thirds vote during the session. The Secretary of State’s office received Kelker’s response on June 1 and then received a duplicate set of votes from Kelker on June 19

A legislator who knowingly creates false and fictitious ballots, with the purpose of them being used as her genuine official ballots, compromises the safety of the legislative process and raises ethical concerns,” Jacobsen wrote in the letter, addressed to Republicans and Democrats  leaders in the legislature.

Senate Minority Leader Pat Flowers told Lee newspapers that the incident was a mistake.  “There was no ill intent to be fraudulent, there was no intention to counterfeit. She made a mistake. She was trying to be responsive on veto overrides,” Flowers said.

Kelker has not commented on the situation publicly.

By: Politics406 staff