Missoula Survey: Voters confident in mail-in-voting

MISSOULA, Mont. - The University of Montana's Department of Public Administration and Policy recently surveyed Missoula County about the November 2020 election. The survey asked 698 registered Missoula voters about their voting experiences and election practices last election. 

90% answered that they believed the Elections Office delivered the November 2020 election at a level on-par with, or better than 2018. 89% agreed or strongly agreed that Missoula County is free of voter fraud. 80% are confident that the November 2020 election results are accurate. 79% are confident in Missoula County’s vote-by-mail process.

Dr. Sara Rinfret, professor and chair of the UM Department of Public Administration and Policy, co-led the survey. She said the biggest take-away for her is Missoulians are extremely happy with the elections office.

“I think we often classify elections as, you know, really political, but I think we need to focus on the folks on the ground,” Rinfret said. “They’re actually implementing policy and making sure we have access to our democracy. I think it’s really strong in terms of the thoughts of Missoulians on the reputation of the Missoula County office.”

Bradley Seaman, Missoula County election administrator, said the office plans on using these results to better serve voters.

“How they want their elections to run in the future.. where do they want their ballots to be, where do they want to vote at, do they want to vote by mail or do they want to vote a polling place,” Seaman said. “How can we help shape future elections in Missoula County and possibly in the state of Montana with this information.”

Dr. Rinfret and her group will be presenting the study’s full results at the election advisory committee meeting Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 3 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. A recording of the meeting will be available after. 

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