Idaho Dispatch

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Canyon County Voting Machine Accepts Photocopy of Ballot During Test, Another Test Scheduled Thursday

By • November 1, 2023

In a logic and accuracy test performed October 20, 2023 by the elections clerk, the voting tabulation machine that is used in Canyon County accepted and counted a photocopy of an official ballot.

Idaho Dispatch received this information from Jo Dee Arnold, who indicated in her correspondence that she is the “District 23 Republican L & A Test Representative, Treasurer Republican-LD 23.” Arnold told the Dispatch,

“Before an election, each County is required by law to perform an open to the public Logic and Accuracy Test (L&A Test) to verify that the voting machines are working properly per Idaho code 34-2416 and 34-2417.

The L&A test uses a pre-filled number of official paper ballots specific to that election called a “test deck.” The test deck is used to test the accuracy of the voting machine “system” per state and federal code. Canyon County uses two types of scanners: precinct and central count. A test deck of official paper ballots is run through the precinct scanner; the one that you put your ballot through on Election Day. For the central scanner (absentee and curbside ballots only), a much larger test deck is scanned.

After both scanners were tested, the attending Commissioner asked if election staff would make a photocopy of one of the official paper ballots and see if the scanner would reject the photocopy. The election staff honored the request; a photocopy was made and inserted through the precinct scanned. THE PHOTOCOPY WAS NOT REJECTED, IT WAS ACCEPTED. Next, a new photocopy from the test deck of absentee style ballots was run through the central count scanner. It was also ACCEPTED. The election staff said that they had never tried to scan a photocopy of a ballot before. Both scanner types accepted a photocopy of an official paper ballot.

The election staff was courteous and graciously answered all questions and requests.”

During an October 30, 2023 meeting with the Canyon County Commissioners, Brandi Long, the Canyon County Elections Operations Supervisor told those in attendance,

“The purpose of this test is really to ensure that the scanner or the equipment is reading the ballots correctly, as they are marked. During the L&A test, there was a request for an external photocopy to be introduced, which did cause some confusion to our staff, and we did reach out to the vendor through Hart and also the Secretary of State’s office to get some clarity on some information we misunderstood.

We learned that it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to.”

In the same meeting, Secretary of State Phil McGrane told the Commissioners,

“The machines, as they were programmed, I have every reason to believe they worked properly.”

McGrane explained,

“The purpose of [the L&A test] is to help demonstrate that the equipment is doing what it’s supposed to in terms of scanning, also to build confidence in the election process.

…we want to make sure the public can have confidence in our systems.”

McGrane talked about the difference between two types of systems: one that uses a “unique identifier” — a serial number or other marking on a ballot that makes it unique and distinguishable from every other ballot, and a system that does not in any way allow the machine to differentiate one ballot from another.

“I think there was some misunderstanding with the (Canyon County) elections staff on how the equipment was set-up leading up to the logic and accuracy testing, specifically regarding the use of unique identifiers.

This system, as it was programmed for this upcoming election, does not use unique identifiers.

It is possible to program (the machines) so that a photocopy will be read.”

According to McGrane, two counties in Idaho currently use unique identifiers on ballots. The other 42 counties do not. When explaining his thoughts on the two options, McGrane commented,

“…as Secretary (of State) I have some hesitation, and there are pros and cons with each of these systems.

Specifically, Idaho’s Constitution, Article 1 Section 6, guarantees a secret ballot, and we start adding numbers and identifiers, that causes me pause in terms of being able to trace back someone’s vote and how they were cast.

It’s possible in future elections to program it differently, if that’s what the county prefers.”

Chris Yamamoto, Canyon County Clerk, said this in his closing statement at the Commissioners’ meeting:

“I think, uh, Secretary [McGrane] would agree as particularly here in Canyon County with as complex as it is, there is really no such thing as a perfect election. And a prior Secretary of State said uh very often ‘pray for wide margins.’ And uh, we do the best that we can, uh particularly, you know, when we come out with the new lines and what not. And the interior is usually, that’s fine. It’s those perimeter lines where we run into problems and so with the insets and what not that we have. So uh, there’s been a lot of checking that’s gone on and particularly on the perimeters that I’m talking about. We’re reasonably confident, so, is it perfect, well, it’s possible that it’s not.”

During McGrane’s remarks, he referenced the system used by Canyon County. It is called Hart InterCivic. You can find information on the company here.

The recording of the entire October 30 meeting with Canyon County Commissioners can be found here.

A representative of Hart InterCivic was scheduled to attend the meeting, but as you hear mentioned in the beginning of the recording, that person “could not make it” to the meeting after all.

Information from the Canyon County Elections website indicates that a second Logic and Accuracy test will be conducted Thursday, November 2, and is open for the public to attend.

“The Canyon County Elections office is planning to hold another logic and accuracy test at the elections office (1102 E. Chicago St., Caldwell) this Thursday, Nov. 2, at 6:30 p.m., which will be open to the public.”

In a follow up email, Jo Dee Arnold told the Dispatch,

“My concern is early voting has been going on this week with these scanners that accept photocopied paper.”


Feature photo courtesy of the Washington Post

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Tags: 2023 Elections, Ballot, Brandi Long, Canyon County, Chris Yamamoto, Election Fraud, Election Integrity, Elections, Hart, Hart InterCivic, Idaho Secretary of State, Intercivic, Jo Dee Arnold, Logic and Accuracy Test (L&A Test), Phil McGrane, unique identifier, Vote

43 thoughts on “Canyon County Voting Machine Accepts Photocopy of Ballot During Test, Another Test Scheduled Thursday

    1. Dead people have been voting for decades! Eliminate ALL voting machines, eliminate mail-in ballots except in verifiable hardship cases, eliminate ALL early voting, and allow only one day to count ballots with sufficient monitoring to stop the steal!

      1. Couldn’t agree more! Many countries have election day set aside like a holiday, where everyone has the opportunity to vote. Then they hand count ballots in front of any and all witnesses in every polling place at the closing of voting. No way to throw an election that is so open to scrutiny. But we are technologically advanced, so we have computerized vote counting systems that tell us the pre-programmed results of our elections.

        1. I was at my polling station today and was printed a ballot as I stood at the check-in table. I remarked that I never had seen this and asked why. I was told that the polling station was the voting spot for THREE precincts and that if they had to have pre-printed blank ballots for all the races in the three precincts, there would be 8-9 different ballots that would have to be printed before election day. On top of that, there would need to be an extra poll worker to hand out the correct ballot to each voter, and poll workers are scarce. (Hence, the combining of multiple precincts which vote at one polling station.)

          There was no number on my printed ballot, and the printer looked like a run-of-the-mill printer you could find in any office. It seems to me that it would be easy to print extra ballots, fill them out during a slow period, and stuff them in the ballot box. Who needs to cheat with mail-in ballots or early voting or ballot harvesting when the ballot printer is in the building?

          Idaho is cutting corners when it comes to elections, IMO.

    2. Machine should be able to accept “test deck.”
      They should be able to accurately count a “on the spot, randomly made stack of ballots.”
      If the machine can count, it count. It should be rigorously tested.
      The issue “pre made test decks” can contain markings that machines could read and then just produce a pre-programmed set of results.
      The machine will do “whatever it was told to do.”

  1. It is entirely possible to still anonymize the ballots yet uniquely identify them in order to prevent fraud. And this absolutely should be done. There should be no question on anyone’s mind that the voting in Idaho was conducted fairly, unlike what we’ve seen in many other states across this great nation.

    1. And, as far as I’m concerned, expense should not be taken as the decising factor. This is too important.

  2. It is entirely possible to put an identifier on each ballot without compromising the secrecy and/or identity of the voter. The machine could then be programmed to not accept a second ballot with the same identifier.

    1. This won’t help when you have the machines programmed to count .75 of a vote for one candidate while counting 1.25 votes for the other (which was the case in many machines across the country in 2020. It also won’t stop ballot harvesting, destroying ballots, etc.

        1. No that’s a real thing. It’s call fractional voting. Although look at Voter GA in Georgia. They had ballot images swapped at the file creation level. They only caught it by comparing the images to the physical ballots. Which is why they won’t let you get at physical ballots. All the machines are connected via cell networks FirstNet). They are centrally controllable.

  3. People take this lightly. These machines need to removed by force. You wonder why Boise is swarming with marxists that only represent 1% of the population here

    1. I totally agree with you!! REMOVE THE MACHINES. In my neck of the woods – we only have paper ballots that are counted by humans (and I know all of the humans.)

  4. Several years ago, Amy Klobuchar ran an ad exposing brand names of machines easy to tamper with. Hart InterCivic was one of them. I view the glib response by McGrane and Yamamoto to be very disturbing. These two guys deserve to be scrutinized by voters.

    1. Yep, and why didn’t the representative come? Hmmm, makes one think that they may have had to answer some tough questions…just saying, HOLD THESE COMPANIES ACCOUNTABLE.

  5. Our WE THE PEOPLE vote is the most important thing we have.
    Until we have in person, legal citizen, paper ballot, photo ID, no drop boxes, no ballot harvesting, no software,
    LEGITIMATE voting system…..,
    We’ve got nothing.
    Cost? Are you f’n kidding me???
    Just look what 2020 brought us…..

  6. ID, Paper ballots, Hand count is the only way to assure the voters along with no early voting or mail in ballots other than military.

  7. A friend who specializes in election integrity mentioned the following (I’m not an expert; just reporting another opinion):

    This is much ado over nothing. They are dumb scanners and have no ability to discern fake or copied ballots. The only surprise is that the elections folks mistakenly thought they could.

    It is bad optics but not much else.

    1. This is a false and naive take. It’s not the hardware it’s the software. The software can swap votes at the image file level. It would be undetectable when looking at the image file. However, in this specific case the identification of the physical ballot as fraudulent would be the most important thing and if there are no safety measures (serialization, watermarks, etc) and no chain of custody, then you’d have no way to determine legitimacy of physical ballots.

  8. I personally won’t be voting again until they get rid of the machines. As it stands now, it’s selection and not election.

    1. This is a mistake. Make them steal it. Make them commit the crime and make it so obvious that we can actually hold them accountable. If they don’t have to steal it because you don’t even vote then they won’t have done anything illegal and there’s nothing to be done. They already won by convincing you to just lay down and take it.

  9. If the IRS can have “red” ink and a bar code on there official tax forms to prevent fraud, then our voting ballots should be the same and the machines should be able to detect the difference. The response from McGrane and Yamamoto is unacceptable. They need to stop trying to make excuses and fix this problem or got ID’s and paper ballots only! Corruption starts at local levels and continues to climb upward. SMH.

    1. Our insatiable need to know who won what within minutes/hours after the polls close ensures there will never be a proper, as-it-should-be hand counting of ballots.

      What if we didn’t know who won until 24 or 48 hours after the polls close? I could wait if the delay was because of hand counting. But there would be those who would scream about a threat to democracy for such delay, other states making fun of Idaho for taking so long to report results, etc–and the media would be at the forefront of the panick-mongering.

  10. No machines are safe because they can be programmed and manipulated. We all need to vote, but we also need to flood the Secretary of State’s office and insist that these corrupted machines are removed from the state, and we return to single day voting, eliminate mail-in ballots except in verifiable hardships or military deployment, require US citizenship and ID, allow strict monitoring of elections and hand counting, and election results be determined the following morning if not before. No more ballot harvesting, mules, recounting ballots that were already counted, middle of the night ballot dumps, postal employees destroying ballots, etc.

  11. Are McCrane and Yamamoto corrupt or incompetent? And I quote:

    “I think, uh, Secretary [McGrane] would agree as particularly here in Canyon County with as complex as it is, there is really no such thing as a perfect election. And a prior Secretary of State said uh very often ‘pray for wide margins.’ And uh, we do the best that we can, uh…”

  12. The fix is in and has been for years. Yamamoto is the big part of this problem. This whole thing is ripe with fraud and manipulation. Yes. .75 and 1.25 per vote. No more electronic voting machines and yes they could mark the ballots with individual markers to the ballot not the voter. Photo copy or not. Once the unique marker is recognized the original ballot would be rejected ( not an issue). One whole vote per unique ballot marker.
    We have a problem in Idaho with voting machines. To deny this is to deny we must breathe to live.
    McGrane and Yamamoto are not to be trusted. Yamamoto needs to be fired.
    Last year I questioned chain of custody workers about who they were and where the voting machine was going that they were removing and why they were removing it.
    I was threatened with police and removal if I didn’t mind my business.
    We have a problem. A big one.

  13. I’d say these folks have a serious problem. Sometimes as they say, you have to grab the bull by the horns and McGrane and Yamamoto are are full of bull.

  14. OK Idaho Dispatch: These comments are a perfect example of why the readers would like to have a “like button” alongside each comment.

  15. The entire system is broken, voter rolls are a complete nightmare, absentee voting cannot be verified by citizen oversight, so many was to rig. Arizona printed 19 inch documents on 20 inch paper only in red districts and machines couldn’t read them judges who heard the case were elected using the same methods won’t hear or make a ruling…? I don’t see a way to vote ourselves out of this

  16. I have ZERO confidence in Phil McGrane. He uses Establishment Speak to RINOsplain any concerns away. Why are there not proper safeguards built into the system to distinguish a copy from the originals. There should ALWAYS be unique identifiers or serial numbers for every ballot to catch double votes by copies. The other concerns not even mentioned are ballots that are printed outside of the known ballots printed for an election. This invites ballot stuffing that has been rampant in election fraud.
    The UniParty (Dems&RINOs) have been playing us all for fools for decades.

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