Missoula County Election Office personnel working with a team of volunteers from the Missoula Republican Party completed a thorough count of voter envelopes Monday and Tuesday to confirm that there was no fraud in the 2020 Missoula election.

Republican Party Chair Vondene Kopeski spoke to KGVO News after the count that occurred at the Missoula County Election office on North Russell.

“We completed our count of the affirmation envelopes over, as you said, a grueling two day process that involved about 18 volunteers from the Missoula County Republican Party, and I think the team that worked for the elections office was eight to 10 people.”

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The volunteers brought the sealed boxes from the storage facility to the elections office and laboriously counted all the over 72,000 envelopes by hand.

Kopeski announced the results of the count.

“We were able to confirm that out of the approximately 72,000 ballots that were cast in the 2020 election, we only came up with 71 ballots, which is less than 1 percent without envelopes. It's actually .0009 percent of the envelopes that were not there.”

After allegations that more than 4,600 envelopes were missing in the 2020 election, Kopeski said it was important to spend the time with her volunteers along with Missoula County Elections Administrator Bradley Seaman and his crew of volunteers, to restore trust in Missoula County elections.

“We began to talk about it as what it could mean to the results of upcoming elections,” she said. “We were concerned that if people were disenfranchised, or felt their vote didn't count that it could impact the results of future elections. So we began just investigating what this meant, and that's why we went forward with this project. Because we felt that we owed it to all voters, regardless of their party, to make sure that votes in Missoula County counted. We want to encourage people to vote, not discourage them.”

Following the count and several rechecks, Kopeski told KGVO News that she feels Missoula voters can feel confident that their votes will count and their voices will be heard.

“I told the group tonight that I feel 100 percent confident in our process because it was infallible and that there were so many checks and balances,” she said. “I think that means that voters can feel 100 percent confident in the results of the election, regardless of what election it is, and certainly the 2020 election. Our investigation and the very laborious process of counting shows that there were not 4,600 missing envelopes as a matter of fact, far from it. And so I think voters can feel 100 percent assured that when they vote in Missoula County, their vote is counted.”

The next election is for the Missoula County School Board in May.

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