Idaho County election officials promise safe elections

On Thursday, Ada County election officials invited people to check their voting machines for accuracy. Among those in attendance were some familiar faces with Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane, a candidate on Tuesday’s ballot for secretary of state.

“Some people I know because we’ve given them tours,” McGrane told the Idaho Statesman at the event. “There were groups that had a lot of questions, so we showed them around the facility. We’ve definitely seen an increase in that and an increase in people sending us requests.”

According to McGrane, the number of inquiries about election security in the past two years has been unprecedented.

It’s no surprise that in a state where one in three Idaho adults believe there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election in the United States, former Republican President Donald Trump was the clear winner, according to a poll commissioned by the Idaho Statesman.

In response to election fraud, the Secretary of State’s Office is launching 40 episodes video series last year explained how Idaho’s election system worked. US Deputy Secretary of State Chad Hook believes that the refusal to accept the election results is partly due to misunderstanding.

“When you don’t understand why, you’re more likely to be open to doubt or confusion, which leads to voters who have less confidence in the results of the election,” Hawke said. Idaho Statesman in a telephone interview.

Here are seven beliefs that Idaho election officials say are completely wrong, and why.

Under Idaho law, voter fraud can be punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and up to 14 years in prison. Sarah A. Miller [email protected]

1. Idaho saw widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

The most prominent purveyor of claims of fraud in the Idaho election was MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. While official results showed 63.8% of Idaho’s vote went to former President Donald Trump, Lindell claimed the statewide presidential election results were electronically managed, switching 35,357 votes from Trump to Joe Biden. they do

In response to Lindell’s sweeping allegations, the Idaho Secretary of State’s office conducted an election audit. It chose three counties, Butte, Camas and Bonner, to see if Lindell’s claims were valid. The retest produced a 0.1% difference between the initial count and the recount, which did not affect the election results.

2. Absentee and mailed ballots are not secure.

The first one is widely used Civil war that voting by mail for military members while away from home is a practice that has been in vogue ever since and is part of a separate security process in Idaho.

Election officials say workers stamp the envelopes as soon as they receive absentee ballots and mail them. Using a digital voter index, workers then verify that voters’ signatures on envelopes match those on their registration cards.

These ballots are kept in a locked vault until they are ready to be counted.

3. Voting machines cannot be trusted.

Idaho officials say the state has multiple layers of security when it comes to voting machines. Electronic tablets cannot be connected to the Internet, including via Bluetooth.

Logical and accuracy checks are conducted before each election, where completed test ballots are passed through machines to confirm accurate results.

Last week, Ada County ran 432 ballots through voting machines during a public logic and accuracy test. Ballots were filled out with specific results in mind by election officials to see if the machine would produce the same numbers correctly.

Officials then locked the cars in a room with video surveillance until Election Day. A new code is generated each time the machines are used. If the same code is displayed on the screen when they’re opened, officials say they won’t know if anyone tampered with it.

Hook said one of the most important checks on Idaho’s electronic system is paper ballots. If the machine’s results are ever in doubt, the paper ballots can be manually counted in the audit.

4. It’s easy to vote using a dead person’s name.

Required monthly by the Idaho Department of Health and Human Services to send The Secretary of State’s office lists all those who have died in the past month. As required by law, the office will determine where deceased persons were registered to vote and notify the appropriate county clerks who must remove those names from their lists of eligible voters, Hawke confirmed.

5. It’s easy to vote in more than one place.

Idaho’s voter registration system, established by the American Voting Assistance Act of 2002, allows election officials to easily track voters who move within the state. Secretary of State’s Office website. For example, someone can move from Ada County to Canyon County. But when a person registers in Ada County, the person is automatically removed from the Canyon County voter rolls, preventing them from voting in either.

When someone moves from another state, that person must be registered to vote in Idaho and verified before a ballot can be cast. The newcomer must also provide the previous state of residence. Idaho then notifies the former home state so that the voter can be removed from that state’s eligibility list.

According to the authorities, cases of “voter fraud, non-citizen voting, double voting and other types of voter fraud are very rare.” Idaho Office of Administration and Elections website that “almost all” cases of suspected voter fraud turn out to be “mistakes, not cases of intentional fraud.”

Hawke did not know how many confirmed cases of voter fraud occurred in Idaho in 2020. He said that initially the provinces reported 49 possible cases. He believes that number likely dropped as counties began to investigate them further.

Hawke recalled an incident in 2020 when someone reported a woman voting for the second time. He appeared to have returned and registered with the same date of birth and previous address, only with a slightly different name. But after investigation it was found that they are twins.

BOI_1103_23_Voter Security
The ballot machine will be tested at the Ada County Elections Office in Boise on November 3, 2022. Sarah A. Miller [email protected]

6. No one will notice that the ballot box is filled with fake ballots.

Each ballot has unique markings that differ from each county to ensure that it cannot be duplicated. According to Hawke, ballots are typically printed in a special color that is scanned or photographed in a different color than the original.

But if someone manages to circumvent those guarantees, Idaho keeps close track of the number of ballots printed for each precinct. Idaho law. These records make it possible to understand whether the ballots were received as opposed to printed.

7. Political parties and candidates do not have the opportunity to control the election process.

Political parties and candidates can request one survey supervisor each constituency and parties can request an election opponent in one constituency to control the election process.

Opponents of polls monitor the login and registration process and question whether a person is eligible to vote. Poll watchers can watch polling places and count ballots to make sure everything is going by the book.

This story was originally published November 7, 2022 16:37.

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