Idaho Secretary of State refutes Mike Lindell’s statewide election manipulation claims
BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Staff from the Idaho Secretary of State’s office visited two Idaho counties last week following receipt of information that alleged statewide manipulation of Idaho’s election results.
“The office of the Idaho Secretary of State takes free, fair, and accurate elections seriously,” says Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, “so when we are presented with allegations that come with specific details which we can examine, we want to do so.”
The document in question, dubbed “The Big Lie” and shared publicly by a website bearing the copyright of Michael J. Lindell, claims that votes actually cast for Donald J. Trump had been switched electronically and recorded as votes for Joseph Biden.
“Once we had the document in hand, we immediately believed there was something amiss,” says Chief Deputy Secretary Chad Houck. “This document alleged electronic manipulation in all 44 counties. At least 7 Idaho counties have no electronic steps in their vote counting processes,” states Houck, “That was a huge red flag, and one we knew we could either prove or disprove fairly directly.”
Houck, along with members of the IDSOS Elections team, visited Camas and Butte counties, the 42nd and 43rd smallest counties on the list on Sept. 23rd. Not suspecting any issues, these two counties were selected due to their small size, and ease of recount.
Butte County’s official canvas showed 1,202 votes for Trump and 188 votes for Biden. “The actual ballots, upon manual inspection and hand-evaluation in the presence of local representatives from both Republican and Democratic parties, in fact showed exactly the expected 188 marked votes for Biden, not 130 as alleged,” says Houck.
The only anomaly was that only 1406 of the 1415 ballots originally tallied for the county’s canvas were counted, resulting in a lower number of 1193 for Trump compared to the canvased 1202. (The remaining 25 ballots represent other candidates as well as overvotes, undervotes, and write-in ballots.)
According to Houck, the nine-ballot difference, a 0.63% margin of error, was likely attributed to the thermal printed ballots that come from assisted voter terminals, which are the same size as the absentee envelopes contained in the same storage boxes. As such, adjusted sorting and storage policies were recommended should a recount occur in the future.
In Camas County, a similar hand inspection process of the county’s 674 canvassed ballots was originally reported as 507 Trump -149 Biden. All 149 Biden ballots were accounted for, as were all other candidate votes, undervotes, and overvotes. The only exception was that the team, again containing bipartisan local representatives, counted 508 votes for Trump, tallying a total of 675 ballots.
“This human error of 0.14% could easily have been in our own process, or on election day,” says Houck, “but it was well short of the supposed 54 vote difference alleged by the “Big Lie” spreadsheet.”
The Secretary of State’s office will also be visiting Bonner County for a voluntary partial recount on Oct. 2.
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