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Montana Secretary of State visits Butte for outreach tour

Secretary of State Corey Stapleton spoke with Butte residents about how his office can help counties run elections Thursday.

Secretary of State Corey Stapleton spoke with Butte residents about how his office can help counties run elections Thursday.

To put it simply, Stapleton said security will be heightened during this election cycle, and the mail-in ballot process has been improved.

Stapleton said hacking is a concern of his. That’s why he said his office increased security for election technology systems.

He said dangers to the election system happen when votes are gathered in large numbers or at the county level.

That’s why he said he's making sure all I.T. platforms don’t have malware or spyware on them.

"Much of what you can describe being done is preventive. It didn't happen, but it could, so we're trying to stay ahead of the proverbial bad guy. We’re trying to stay ahead of the bad guy, because we don’t have to try to fix something. We want to stay ahead of it, so we don't have to fix it,” Stapleton said.

As for the mail-in ballot process, Stapleton said last year 1,800 ballots didn't count due to late mail-ins, no signatures or ballots signed by someone else.

That’s why he said the new system's envelopes are less wordy. There will be a bold signature line, clear instructions on when ballots need to be mailed and who can sign them.

The hope is to increase ballots counted.

State election deadlines for 2018 are happening now. Click here for the details.

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