By Kathy Thomsen, Election Integrity South Central
The dust has settled on the November 8 general election. Comments on the international, national, state and local scene (including Poll Watcher comments) are as follows:
Internationally, forces within Brazil’s President-elect Lula’s camp have refused to grant military access to the voting machines for a proper investigation to be held. Meanwhile predictions that martial law will be imposed by next week are being circulated. Balsonaro who “lost” the stolen election held on machines, is expected to follow the military’s lead. Both the military and the millions of Brazilians who protest the stolen election daily stand to face a firing squad if their efforts to reverse the stolen election are foiled. That is courage.
The fraudulent Arizona election has been certified. MAGA governor candidate Kari Lake “lost” and a corrupt federal judge sanctioned her attorneys for filing a frivolous lawsuit. Attempts to mimic the throngs of Brazilians cramming the streets in Arizona fell flat. Police in riot gear and feds outnumbered the 200 people who answered the call to peacefully protest another stolen election. That is not courage.
Nationally, election integrity efforts are coalescing around the following options:
- Cheat better – Republicans need to be better at mail-in voting and voter registration.
- More laws – curtail no excuse absentee ballots, outlaw third party ballot applications.
- Litigation – good luck finding an honest constitutional judge.
- Initiatives – any ballot measure would be counted on machines.
Caveat: You can’t out-vote the machines. Not even Trump in 2024. Any “winning” strategy (like everyone vote the day of) will be answered with yet another innovative way to steal the rigged election. It is beyond frustrating to know they cheated, know how they cheated, have proof of the cheat in real time and not have a judge or a sheriff or a commissioner in America willing to do anything about it. The Arizona commissioner who indicated he would not vote to certify the election was told he would face jail time. He voted “yes” under duress. That is not courage.
The recent post-election audit (of random counties/precincts selected after the election) which includes a ballot inventory (total ballots issued minus spoiled ballots minus unused ballots must equal voted ballots) revealed no discrepancies. Tim O’Donnell of Election Integrity Idaho was part of the audit team and remarked “The machines are accurate, assuming they’re not mal-programmed.”
Statewide, O’Donnell reports that Election Integrity Idaho will be focusing on:
- County Strategy – the focus will be on building a county-by-county coalition of patriots rather than regional groups.
- Support – EII will continue to offer data and voter roll analysis, tips on canvassing and team building, speakers bureau etc.
- Legislation – limiting no-excuse absentee voting is a priority. Need people to read bills.
- Media – videos, newsletter, develop a Drudge-like news aggregation site for Idaho.
The Magic Valley
Patriots can celebrate the election of Glenneda Zuiderveld, Dist 24, impressive numbers of public support for election integrity meetings with the commissioners and nearly 100% poll watcher efforts in the general election. If you were one of the many poll watchers, your efforts were appreciated and no doubt your understanding of the election process benefited from the experience.
But efforts to push the commissioners in Twin Falls County to hand count ballots were stymied when commissioners countered by asking the Secretary of State to include Twin Falls in the post-election audit. The Secretary declined to do so when our county was not selected in the random drawing. Commissioner Don Hall said our options are to work with the clerk or legislature. Clearly the commissioners’ concern and support of transparent elections was simply window dressing.
Clerk Glascock continues to deny signature verification, final count tabulation observation, and voter roll cleanup. The 2022 general election is the last election where ballot inventory work will be done in-precinct. This work will be done on the tabulators at central count in future elections.
Senator Zuiderveld will be carrying legislation to limit no-excuse absentee ballots. If you have ideas for election integrity legislation, please contact her at gzuiderveld@senate.Idaho.gov
Poll Watchers summary:
The primary problem was the DS200 tabulator jammed when the ballot box was too full.
On the second day that early voting was watched, the DS200 would not read the ballots (inserted 12 times) so the tabulator was replaced with another one.
Three reports of printer not working well. In one case the printer grabbed two sheets of paper and printed half the ballot on each piece (this also happened once during Day-Of voting); another printer indicated it was out of paper when it was actually 3/4 full.
Ballots were not read due to bubble not being completely filled out; ballots were spoiled due to extra marks on ballot or failure to print ballot clearly/adequate ink on side bars.
Day Of Voting
In one precinct, a voter arrived to vote and was told he already voted. During the 50 minutes it took to resolve the issue, the e poll book (1 of 3) was unavailable for use. At that same precinct (Buhl 1&2), printers 1 & 2 were not connecting with their e poll book. After a half hour, I.T. arrived from Twin Falls County West and resolved the issue after 15 minutes. During that time, the only printer available began to have problems. Since I.T. was in the polling facility, the 3rd printer issue was resolved within 2 minutes. It took 1 hour 15 minutes for the long line of electors to catch totally up (some people left). At that point and for the next 1 hour 45 minutes, there were 3 problems with either e poll book or printer causing about 10 minutes to resolve.
Report of one chief judge whose count of voted ballots at 8 PM was 777 and the e poll book count was 742. She could not reconcile the difference and when asked by the poll worker why the count was off, she replied “I’ll let the county deal with it.”
Five reports of poll workers and voters using phones.
Six reports of printer not working. In one case the printer was unplugged, plugged back in and then it worked. One printer was down 15 minutes, another for 20 (then later this same printer was down 30 minutes). In one case power went out for 30 minutes and there was no ability to print ballots so pre-printed ballots were used during that time.
Report of e poll books not working due to bad internet reception.
Report of ballot box was closed (but not sealed) when first voter inserted ballot. The chief judge put a seal on the box at approximately 8:45 AM. All despite the poll watcher asking the chief judge (when she arrived at 7:50 AM) if she could verify with the first voter that the ballot box was empty.
Report of overhearing poll workers discussing absentee ballots: one lady had brought hers to the polling place and threw it away there.
Report of incorrect pens being used (not the ballot marking pens).
Report of a curbside voter who was assisted by only one poll worker – should be two.
Report of confusion on how to handle ballots that had to be re-printed. Also, chief judge wished they were trained in situations where computer glitches, doing something the workers didn’t expect.
NOTE: Picking up on the discussion between the poll workers, a watcher noted that the registrar’s database is not the same as the e poll book database. A newly registered voter might be processed in the registrar’s system but, after being sent to the e poll book station, it was found that they actually lived in a different precinct that what the registrar’s system indicated.
While I firmly believe that evil must be opposed while we “occupy until He comes”, it is difficult to muster any enthusiasm to fight with machines that are still part of the equation. If you can see a path forward for election integrity in Twin Falls County, I’d love to hear it!