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Montana Counties Share $750,000 For Election Upgrades

Voters in Clinton, MT cast ballots during the 2016 elections.
Voters in Clinton, MT cast ballots during the 2016 elections.

The Montana Secretary of State's Office has decided how to distribute $750,000 in federal grant money to upgrade voting equipment across the state's 56 counties.

A statement by Secretary Corey Stapleton Tuesday shows the amount of each sub-grant will range from $3,500 for the smallest counties to nearly $46,000 for Missoula County. The money is matched by an equal amount contributed by the counties.

Secretary of State Elections Director Dana Corson spoke Tuesday to the State Administration and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

"Counties can use that for their discretion for election security, election processes. You know, what do they need to do to make things better."

Stapleton says the money will help counties buy new voting machines for people with disabilities. Every polling place is required to have at least one, and each costs at least $3,500.

Montana received $3 million total from the federal government to improve its election system and security. Some $2 million was earmarked for a new voter registration system.

Another $150,000 is going toward information technology security and $100,000 went toward the state election supervisor's salary.

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