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Montana lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban grant funding and other private money or services from being used by local officials to run elections, a practice that has come under intense scrutiny since the 2020 elections.

Senate Bill 117 would ensure that local election offices are not influenced by outside funding, Darin Gaub, chairman of the Lewis and Clark County Republican Central Committee, told lawmakers during a Wednesday hearing. The central committee last summer adopted a resolution declaring President Joe Biden was not legitimately elected. Despite a raft of allegations since the 2020 election, no evidence has emerged to substantiate those claims.

“This is simply, in essence, a basic ethics bill,” Gaub told the Senate State Administration Committee. “I don’t believe any organization of any kind should be able to donate funds to assist and facilitate the elections … whether they mean to or not, you have the influence of impropriety.”


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