Despite what Christi Jacobsen, Corey Stapleton, and the men dressed in Revolutionary War costumes in front of the county courthouse want you to believe, Montana’s elections are safe and secure.
Montana’s elections are among the safest in the US and, by extension, the world. Through the work of Montana’s County Government-based clerks and elections deputies, Montana can provide world-class election reporting and security with few instances of fraud.
According to the Heritage Foundation – a conservative think tank – there have been two cases of voter fraud over the past 40 years of Montana elections. The first was a man who submitted his ex-wife’s ballot without her permission in 2011; the second was a man who submitted a voter registration form under the name of “Miguel Raton” (“Mickey Mouse” in Spanish) in 2021. Furthermore, an audit by then-Secretary of State Cory Stapleton in 2020 revealed zero cases of voter fraud.
And yet, current Secretary Christi Jacobsen requested a slate of restrictive voter-access policies from the 2021 Montana legislature. Those bills tried to end same-day voter registration, prohibit the use of student I.D.s for voting purposes, and significantly restrict third-party ballot collection. Then, despite the failures to hold up in court, Jacobsen proceeded to illegally and wrongfully advertise falsehoods, particularly in markets likely to vote against her religious and national political beliefs.
The constitutional right to vote extends to every eligible Montanan – a fact corroborated by the federal district court that ruled Jacobsen's laws “severely burden the right to vote of Montana voters, particularly Native American voters, students, the elderly, and voters with disabilities.”
Jacobsen's continuing efforts to restrict every Montanan’s ability to vote is a disqualifier for the office she holds, plain and simple. She’s since appealed her case to the Montana Supreme Court, spending tens of thousands - soon to be hundreds of thousands - of the public’s tax dollars trying to implement illegal protections to stop a problem that doesn’t exist in Montana.
I am committed to upholding Montana’s excellent election security laws and procedures – cases of actual voter fraud must remain vanishingly rare. I’m also committed to making sure every eligible Montanan not only has the right to vote but also the ability to do so without enduring undue hardship. And lastly, I’m committed to supporting our county government officials, who are the true front line and defense against voter fraud in Montana.
Upon gaining statehood in 1889, Montana was granted title to 5% of its area to generate revenue for public schools. Last year, those roughly 5 million acres of Trust Land earned $120 million through leases for Montana commerce such as agriculture, commercial timber and mining, and commercial and residential property. These are public lands, and most legally accessible trust lands are open for recreational uses.
Every Trust Land transaction runs through the state Land Board, which consists of Montana’s top five elected positions: Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Commissioner of Securities & Insurance.
It’s one of the many reasons the Secretary of State is such an important office. And why it’s so critical to elect a candidate who will work to maximize revenue for our public schools while also protecting the environmental integrity of and public access to those Trust Lands. In other words, we need a Secretary of State who works for the people of Montana, not for those who have purchased political power in Helena for themselves and their cronies.
The state land board cannot be simple “Yes” men and women for the richest Montanans represented by Gov. Greg Gianforte. Board members must be capable of making genuinely independent votes to represent Montanans better.
I’m Jesse James Mullen, and I’m running to be your next Secretary of State - so I can do precisely that.
As a successful CEO and entrepreneur, I have extensive experience negotiating multi-million dollar deals to obtain the best possible investment results. With attention to detail, I will ensure Montana’s land use contracts prioritize the best of public services and return on investment.
The Montana Secretary of State’s business portal – an inescapable journey for every business owner and organization founder in the state - is an antiquated nightmare of bureaucratic inefficiency. Years of building customer service centers for the most extensive media organizations in the US helped me develop genuine, service-focused, and efficient teams. Our business office should be helping, not hindering, Montana’s small businesses as they build back our economy.
The Business Services Division must remain competent, accommodating, and fast. We will do our work quickly and accurately and let Montana’s business community get back to doing what it does best: growing Montana’s diverse private sector.
Every time a business is started, or a non-profit is formed, SoS assists in filing official registrations, articles of organization, assumed business names, and trademarks.
As a small business owner myself, I can attest that those services have suffered under the current Secretary of State and her mentor, Corey Stapleton. From the user end, work is more complicated and less efficient. Horror stories of week-long turnarounds for functions that are automated processes in most states are commonplace. Overbilling (double, even triple) Montana’s small businesses and then fighting in court, using Montana tax dollars, to avoid processing a refund is an unacceptable level of service to the business community.
If a coffee shack on the corner can refund a two-week-old transaction promptly, the Secretary of State sure as heck should be able to.
As your next Secretary of State, I will work to restore user experience and efficiency in the Business Services Division while keeping costs down. I will ensure small businesses and organizations get the same attention as large corporations. And I will ensure that my staff and all local officials have the tools they need to keep our economic engines humming.
Montana’s hard-working businesses and nonprofits deserve nothing less.
My entire career, I held elected officials accountable for their actions. I will continue to shine a light on our democratic processes and ensure partisan players hold themselves to a higher standard of transparency. I will make myself readily available to the public, and look forward to working with Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians alike. When I walk in the door, politics run out.
The Forest Service is highly decentralized, which is arguably the center of its problems. NPS needs a revamping and an improved system for relegation and more efficient top-down management.
Our communities are at risk from wildfire and better management means jobs for Montana. Federal agencies have been slow to partner with state and county governments to increase active management, and production agriculture needs to be part of the discussion. People on the ground are working together to manage working landscapes, from improving water quality to protecting the wildland urban interface. We need elected officials to work on policies that implement ideas and promote public lands, while respecting private property rights and putting people to work. A lot less finger pointing and more coordination with accountability is what’s needed in Helena.
1.) Protect public access to public lands for sportsmen and recreation.
2.) Increase recreation and tourism.
3.) Increase timber and agriculture production.
Montana pays entry-level teachers less than any other state. Our teacher unions do an excellent job protecting the educators of this state, and bad actors in the private education community abuse the use of public funding in other states. Increase the wages of Montana's public school teachers.
We must ensure children in rural parts of the state have access to quality education. Building a strong economy is one way of drawing more families to the area and attracting competent teachers to the area.
Climate change is a real and urgent issue. We’re not going to solve it by shutting down businesses and cutting off access to our natural resources, but we can use them better. I won't tell a family of five that their mom or dad chose the wrong career. Policies that lead transition while protecting families should be debated to protect the economy and energy ratepayers across the state. Montana has natural resources, and we need policies to encourage innovation and development.
Too many families struggle to make ends meet. The per capita income in Anaconda/Deer Lodge County in 2020 was $26,207. Montana started down the path of making insurance affordable, but began sitting on the sidelines for national debates to take over. Downtown businesses in my district are disadvantaged because they cannot achieve the scale necessary to offer competitive benefits. Insurance company lobbyists have had too much clout and come in between small business, families, and rural healthcare providers. I am open to all ideas, including a form of public option crafted by Montanans. Healthcare policy that works in Miami isn’t going to work in Deer Lodge and we deserve better.
You control yours and I'll control mine.
We have a long trend of cutting funding in mental health to the point of crisis and our law enforcement agencies are underfunded. The Montana common sense solution is to address the causes of problems, not the symptom. We need more funding for mental health and our law enforcement professionals should be the best trained and paid public servants. Elected officials too often use this issue as an excuse to avoid tackling funding issues and kick the can down the road. It’s not working for Montana and it doesn’t work for our law abiding gun owners.
Montana needs your help to defeat the Far Right and protect our values of caring, community, and free and fair Elections!
Your donation will protect election integrity, public land access and build a friendlier secretary of state office for Montanans!