My fellow Idahoans, I have heard reports that county clerks in Idaho are being harassed and even getting death threats. If you follow my Op-Eds, you know that I have spent more than a year researching election fraud and working to make the Idaho voter rolls as accurate as possible. I can honestly report that compared to other states, our Idaho voter rolls are in relatively good shape, and Idaho doesn’t have the degree of widespread election fraud happening in other states. Idaho’s county clerks deserve much of the credit for this, and we must support them in order to make Idaho’s election system even better.
This Op-Ed will summarize two ways widespread election fraud is being conducted in other states, how our county clerks are the first line of defense against election fraud and what controls they can put in place to prevent what is happening in other states from happening in Idaho. I will conclude the Op-Ed with advice for county clerks and concerned citizens about how we can work together to protect and improve our state’s election system.
On the surface, elections appear to be simple and easy with citizens showing up at the polls, filling in ballots and the county clerks counting those ballots. However, behind the scenes elections are much more complicated and our county clerks have an extremely challenging job following the processes that make elections compliant with Idaho election statute. They must register voters, maintain accurate voter rolls, design ballots that are neutral and fair, send out absentee ballots, standup early voting polling stations, manage poll books, standup election day polling stations, enforce “chain of custody” for transporting ballots, count the ballots, adjudicate ballots that can’t be read by the ballot tally machines, etc. The county clerks have their hands full just administering the complexities of this system and its understandable that they believe if they follow the process, they will administer a clean election. Unfortunately, many of these complexities enable election fraud at levels below what is readily visible to the county clerks. However, if county clerks know how election fraud is happening, they can put controls in place to prevent it and can detect if it is happening in Idaho.
Widespread election fraud is happing in two main ways; ballot box stuffing and nefarious software installed on ballot tally machines that creates a predetermined electronic election outcome. Ballot box stuffing is as old as the United States and happens in multiple ways including ballot harvesting, invalid mail-in ballots, invalid drop box ballots, counterfeit ballots, etc. Although there are some election officials around the country facilitating this fraud, I believe this is not widespread in Idaho. The best way to combat ballot stuffing is to maintain accurate voter rolls and track every printed ballot. Ballot tally machine software manipulating votes to create a predetermined electronic election outcome has been proven during the forensic audit of Maricopa County’s paper ballots in Arizona, and in Mesa County, Colorado where an image of the ballot tally machine’s hard drive was created and analyzed. In Mesa County, the ballot tally machines had unapproved software, cellular modems and Wi-Fi chips which connected them to the internet and created copies of vote databases (i.e. two sets of books) to manipulate votes.
To learn more about the forensic audit of Maricopa County paper ballots, watch this summary:
To learn about machine manipulation of votes in Mesa County, Colorado, read the reports at this link:
The analysis of the ballot tally machine in Mesa County led to the development of a method to statistically analyze the tally machine’s Cast Vote Record (CVR) that detects vote manipulation without having to analyze the machine’s hard drive directly. This has led concerned citizens across the country to request election CVRs from County Clerks. County Clerks in Idaho are getting hundreds of Public Record Requests (PRRs) from Idahoans and from citizen across the country. Early analysis of the CVRs that have been received show that vote manipulation by the software on ballot tally machines is widespread across the United States.
Idaho County Clerks and concerned citizens must strive to understand each other’s concerns and learn to work together to make Idaho’s elections as clean as humanly possible. What may seem like a lack of transparency on the part of a county clerk is most likely the clerk being inundated with PPRs to which they are unable respond. Unreasonable request for records are most likely concerned citizens not understanding how to ask for the data they want. The results are two groups that want the same thing being suspicious of each other and not advancing toward their common goal of election integrity. Idaho County Clerks and citizens must find a way to work together or the election fraudsters will eventually win.
County clerks can do much to improve transparency and implement controls to verify ballot tally machine results. By doing so they will dramatically reduce the number of PRRs they are receiving. I am a computer scientist and software engineer, and I believe that software driven ballot tally machines can never be made in a way that prohibits election manipulation. Everyone must understand that the vote tally machines used in the United States are made by private companies and have closed software source code that our government is not allowed to review. We have no idea what is happening inside these black box voting machines. If I were a county clerk, I would never sign my name to certify the results of an election where ballots were counted solely by machine because I have no way of knowing how the “black box” software counted the votes. Any machine counted ballots must be verified with a hand count to ensure the software is not manipulating votes.
We will not be getting rid of the ballot tally machines before the next election, but there are two very simple things Idaho County Clerks can do to secure our election results. First, audit the machine count by randomly selecting 4 or 5 precincts to hand count. This hand count should be performed immediately after machine counting the ballots. Precincts should be selected at random after the machine count by rolling dice or using some other random selection process. Volunteer electors should be used for the hand count and their results should be compared with the machine count. If there is a major difference in those counts, the cause of the discrepancy must be investigated. Second, if your machine can produce a Cast Vote Record, turn on that configuration option and place the CVR file on your website immediately after the election. I believe if a county clerk commits to doing these two things, most of the PRRs directed at the their office will stop.
There are many ways concerned citizens can support their county clerks. First, get to know them. The county clerks work for you and should want to know your concerns. Make an appointment with them to discuss your concerns and offer to help them. Empathize with the difficult job they have. Second, understand what you are asking for prior to submitting a PRR, don’t hesitate to ask the clerk’s office if the information you want even exists. Third, show your county clerk this Op-Ed and ask them if they are open to doing some random hand counting of precincts as a way to audit the machine count. Offer to help recruit volunteers for this hand counting.
I believe most Idaho County Clerks are so focused on following election processes that they are unaware of the evidence out there proving the existence of wide spread election fraud. I also believe once they know how the fraud is happening, they will work to put controls in place to secure our elections. The county clerks’ authority over elections in their counties and small precinct sizes decentralize ballot tallying and make it difficult to statistically hide election fraud. There is a major push in this country to move away from county clerks running our elections and go to centralized voting centers where election fraud’s statistical anomalies can be easily hidden. The best way for we citizens to make sure centralized elections do not happen in Idaho is to support our county clerks and maintain their distributed authority over our elections. Our county clerks are the good guys and we citizens should support them any way we can.
This Op-Ed was submitted by Joseph Gish. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Tags: 2022 Election, Arizona, Ballot, Ballot Harvesting, Colorado, County Clerk, Election Fraud, Elections, Joseph Gish, Maricopa County, Mesa County, Voter Rolls