Libertarian Party, college student to get seat on Missoula County’s Election Advisory Committee

Missoula County commissioners approved changes to the by-laws governing the Election Advisory Committee on Wednesday, though the newly created positions will have to wait for a vacancy.

The seven-member committee, currently comprised of several at-large members and one representative from both the Democratic and Republican parties, will be joined by a member of the Libertarian Party and a student representative from higher education.

“The EAC felt there was such a large student population that it was really important that they had input from a student who’s a voter in higher education,” said Dori Brownlow, director of the county’s development district. “A lot of what the EAC does is access to voting issues, and the student member advises the EAC on issues specific to students.”

The EAC is comprised of seven citizen volunteers appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to study the efficiency and effectiveness of the electoral process. The stated goals include advocating for fair and open elections and increased public participation.

The committee has included one member from both the Democratic and Republican parties, though they’ll be joined by the Libertarian Party when a vacancy opens.

“They (EAC) felt a party that has a central committee should have a seat,” Brownlow said. “The number of members on the EAC will stay the same. When they have a vacancy, they’ll ensure it’s filled by those new members.”

The Green Party does not have a central committee in Missoula County.

Earlier this year, commissioners named Dayna Causby as the county’s new elections administrator. After taking testimony last year, commissioners also opted to keep the job as elections administrator an appointed position.