Carter Center Supports Montana Election Observation Initiative in the State’s Upcoming Primary

ATLANTA — The Montana Election Observation Initiative (MEOI), a nonpartisan election observation effort supported by The Carter Center, announced today plans to conduct a pilot election observation in Missoula County, Montana during the state’s June 4 primary.

This small-scale pilot, designed to test observation forms and approaches, will mobilize a limited number of trained volunteer observers to gather information about election processes in the county, with the goal of determining the possibility of expanding the observation in November. If a broad-based election observation effort proceeds for the general election, the project would recruit and train observers to monitor election processes throughout the state and would release a comprehensive assessment of the quality of the 2024 general election in Montana.

The presence of nonpartisan observers – who represent the public interest and are focused on the conduct and not the outcome of an election – has been shown to improve election administration and increase trust in election results.

Under the guidance of a cross-partisan advisory committee, chaired by Jeff Mangan and Geraldine Custer, the MEOI aims to enhance transparency and public understanding about election procedures in Montana, detect and deter electoral malfeasance, and offer evidence-based recommendations for electoral reform to improve the conduct of elections, if warranted.

Mr. Mangan, a Democrat, formerly served in the Montana House and Senate and held the role of Commissioner of Political Practices. Ms. Custer, a Republican, formerly served in the Montana House of Representatives and was county clerk and recorder for Rosebud County, Montana for 36 years.

MEOI observers will focus on compliance with legal standards, the electoral environment, and the overall transparency of the election. They will observe in accordance with a rigorous code of nonpartisan conduct and will not interfere in or disrupt the election processes.

The Carter Center will provide funding and technical assistance to MEOI. Since 1989, The Carter Center has observed more than 120 elections in 40 countries, including the United States.

For further details on the pilot, to volunteer as a nonpartisan election observer, or to request interviews with Jeff Mangan, Geraldine Custer, or representatives from The Carter Center, please contact:


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A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.