Election integrity is one of the most important issues because it is upon election integrity that all other issues depend. Yet Idaho is ranked 38th in election integrity by the Heritage Foundation. View Idaho’s score card here.
Below is my report of Election Integrity Idaho‘s presentation to about 32 attendees on August 9th at Idaho Joe’s in Twin Falls.
EII has data geeks across Idaho who are skilled at large data set analysis – like voter rolls. With liaisons in most counties throughout Idaho, years of voter history data has been compiled. In one instance the November 21 election voter rolls were compared to the NCOA (National Change of Address) file and, in Twin Falls County, 1,432 voters have been challenged who had moved out of the county more than 30 days prior to the election. Leaving invalid voters on the rolls creates a line of credit for voter fraud.
Fortunately, Idaho is not part of the ERIC (Electronic Registration Information Center) that allegedly keeps voter rolls clean but in reality, has bloated the rolls in over 30 states. No blatant election fraud has been found in Idaho but with absentee and drop box voting and the use of election machines in all but 6 or 7 counties, the potential exists and constant vigilance is required.
Following the poll watcher effort during the primary election last May, EII made numerous PRRs (Public Record Request) in order to 1) ensure proper chain of custody of the ballots; 2) documentation for the Zuckerberg grant of $43,832; 3) support for the cost of election machines.
Some requested information made its way into a report to the county Commissioners by EII in July. For example, chain of custody issues that included missing seals, incorrect seal numbers and time stamps that were missing or questionable.
Denied. Denied. Denied.
The Commissioners meeting also included a discussion of numerous transparency requests that EII had made to the Clerk that were denied, such as a request for a poll watcher to observe signature verification of absentee ballots and a request that a poll watcher be present in the final count room during tabulation. When that was denied, EII requested that the DS850 tabulators used during the Final Count be rotated 180 degrees to allow observation of ballot sorting. That was denied. Finally, the Remake Board where ballots are adjudicated is located in the back of the final count room and EII requested that it be moved over in front of the public viewing window so watchers could observe the process from the hallway. That was also denied.
Additionally, the primary manufacturer of election machines in Idaho, ES&S (Elections Systems and Software) have denied access to several important data files and reports including CVR (Cast Vote Record), the ballot images and the tabulator batch report. They are reportedly unavailable based on the options selected by the Secretary of State.
NOTE: Commissioners have no authority over the Clerks. The Clerk is responsible for managing the election, the Commissioners for certifying the election and approving the election budget and the Secretary of State is responsible for selecting and insuring proper certification of the election machines.
394 ballots were deposited in the three drop boxes. The Commissioners were asked to get rid of the boxes as there is no longer a pandemic, and the Emergency Order has been lifted.
206 ballots were adjudicated after 10 PM on the May 17 Primary – as they were rejected by the tabulators. However, the unofficial results were released to the press at 10 PM. EII requested that no results be released until all ballots have been counted.
The Commissioners were also informed that the Personal Identification Affidavits filed out by voters who arrive to vote without any ID are never cross checked to the voter rolls. According to the Clerk, they are discarded. During the Logic and Accuracy Test on May 16, the password for the two DS850 tabulators was shared by the county IT staff. This should be a unique code for each tabulator for security purposes. Finally, EII requested that a complete image of the hard drive be made before and after each system upgrade.
The Commissioners were also given a copy of the documentary 2000 Mules to watch.
EII’s main focus is transparency, accountability, accuracy and secure election process. When EII presented their goals to Twin Falls County Commissioners in July, Twin Falls County Clerk stated she replied that a hand count would take days.
EII simply wants to make sure everything is done right, to restore confidence in voting process.
Lynn outlined the proper procedures for ballots according to Idaho election laws and procedures, and E-poll book rules for Idaho for tracking voters.
Lynn addressed the ongoing problems of inaccurate and dated voter rolls, voters who have moved, poll worker issues, the three drop off boxes at Twin Falls County West on Addison, which have 24-hr surveillance.
New and younger poll workers are needed in the November election, and she encouraged attendees to sign up at their website. She stated that the County Clerk said she does not want poll watchers at the polls in November.
Lynn was a poll watcher in the May primary at TF County West during early voting. She could view registering, inserting of ballots, she saw the ES 200 jam multiple times before it was finally fixed. Other watchers witnessed similar problems — printers not working, and the E-poll book not connected to County West office.
Poll workers attempted to force poll watchers to leave at 8pm when polls closed. When challenged by Lynn and other watchers, poll workers could not find a directive in the manual to leave, and she chose to stay. She witnessed five voters arriving without ID’s, who signed affidavits stating they were who they said they were, but that the affidavits were not properly verified by the Clerk’s office. Lynn said there is no legislation to correct this.
Part of the problem is that neither the Clerk nor the Commissioners are IT pros. Voters are being asked to trust them, to trust a black box with our vote. But as transparency decreases, so does confidence and trust in our elections. As complexity increases, so does suspicion.
The answer lies in a back-to-basics approach to elections: one day voting, on paper, in person, with ID, hand counts, no machines. Nye County Nevada will be the first county in the country to showcase a new hand count procedure featuring live-streamed cameras this November. Moving Twin Falls County to the hand count column will require community involvement.
Sign up: Go to ElectionIntegrityIdaho.org, scroll down to sign up for EII Telegram, or register your email address for news and updates, and upcoming EII meetings.
Things you can do: Attend local EII meetings, make calls, volunteer to be a Poll Watcher or a Poll Worker, researching, speaking or manning a booth at the county fair (August 31-September 5).
Visit Frankspeech.com to learn more.
Attend Moment of Truth Summit on August 20 and 21 (live streamed), for up-to-date information on election integrity in all 50 states.
Watch the new documentary Selection Code, around 6:30 PM Saturday, August 20 on Frankspeech.com
Become equipped. View the Idaho voter education video series at VoteIdaho.gov
EII’s next goal is to present to the Commissioners their assessment of current election vulnerabilities and offer solutions. Meeting date and time to be announced.
Mark your calendar for this live streamed event…