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.Advertisement
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.”Advertisement
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.”Advertisement
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.”
“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
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