Juneau officially reelected as Supt. of Public Instruction

HELENA – Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer Linda McCulloch received word from the 11th District Court at 3 p.m. Tuesday that Sandy Welch was withdrawing her application for a recount of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Race. Welch trailed incumbent Denise Juneau by 2,231 votes after the official statewide canvass.

McCulloch released the following statement in response to notification of the withdrawal of the petition:

“We are disappointed that there will not be a recount. We were ready, counties were ready. We are confident that a recount would not have changed the race results, but we were ready to do one. A lot of public time and resources has been spent preparing for the huge task of conducting a statewide recount of more than 468,000 ballots cast in the race. County election administrators have been extremely cooperative and professional as the days and weeks passed while we waited for a petition for recount to be filed, waited through a court hearing, and waited for the cash payment of the costs to Montana taxpayers of the recount.”

McCulloch said she agrees with the court’s finding that no harm to the state could result from recounting the ballots in the race when Welch was paying for it, and that she was prepared to oversee the recount that was ordered by the court to start Monday, Dec. 17, pending receipt of the cash to cover the costs.

“Administering elections is a complex and time-consuming job. Most Montana election administrators are also clerks and recorders and have a myriad of duties to contend with. They do an admirable job ensuring the integrity of each election, and I am proud of their efforts. Montana voters can be confident that their vote counts.”

Welch was required by the court to post cash to cover the costs as estimated by the counties of the statewide manual recount by 5 p.m. Tuesday.