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April 6, 2022
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I am writing in reference to the Cascade County Election Judge Training that took place February 28th-March 3rd 2022. I attended the second session on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 1PM MST. Two Cascade County attorneys were in attendance in this session. Rina Fontana Moore instructed the class along with her support staff, Lynn and her IT person, Rina’s son.
I have attended Election Judge training in the past and the difference in presentation and demeanor of the election staff was alarming. In the past, personnel trained were welcomed to the class and the atmosphere was casual and open to discussion with a goal to teach the responsibilities/duties needed to be an Election Judge. This was not the case in this year’s training.
Initially, Rina made certain that we all knew that each session was being recorded and videotaped. She then proceeded to lecture us about spreading “misinformation”. She stated that anyone spreading “misinformation” would be prosecuted and there would be jail sentences and fines.
She also said that individuals’ Facebook pages that contained “misinformation” would be turned over to MATIC (Montana Analysis and Technical Information Center). She spent 30-45 minutes defending her job.
She was very defensive and threatening and never explained what “misinformation” was. Her behavior and demeanor were unprofessional and negatively set the tone for the class. Very few questions were asked and tension was high.
Another occurrence that seems to be raising eyebrows is that Cascade County has historically paid all Election Judge trainees for their time attending election judge training, but this time trainees were told they would not be paid unless they were called and served in an election. The change in precedent was not explained.
As a citizen of Cascade County I find all of this very troubling. Several first-time trainees have elected not to pursue working as judges due to the insufficient and inappropriate training provided. Participating in the election process is an important part of our civic duty that I pray more people will pursue.
18 Riverwood Lane,
Great Falls, MT 59405