Blue Valley Mobile Home Park, a community of about 900 people in Boise’s far southeast corner, was annexed into the city in 2014. But when it came to city elections, Blue Valley voters were disenfranchised. A clerical error kept about 150 voters off the city voting rolls in the 2015 city election and 190 in the 2017 election, according to county Elections Director, even though property owners were paying city taxes by then. Voters in Blue Valley were added to city rolls in June, Levine said Wednesday, after Blue Valley residents realized what had happened and complained. He said officials are looking into how the problem occurred and who is responsible. One resident, Jennifer Wiley, told the Statesman that she went to her polling place to vote in the 2015 mayoral race just to be turned away. An Idaho Statesman reporter who reviewed voting rolls was unable to find a single Blue Valley address on more than a hundred pages of voting rolls for November city elections in those years — the first two elections in which Blue Valley residents should have been able to vote. Blue Valley, along with other homes near the neighborhood, is assigned to Precinct 1803 in Ada County. When Wiley got to her polling place, poll workers told her she wasn’t eligible to vote in the city election.Full Article: Error left tax-paying Boise residents off city voter rolls | Idaho Statesman.
Articles about voting issues in Idaho.
Amid a major spat between House Republicans and Democrats that threatened to slow the House’s business to a crawl for the rest of this year’s legislative session, a controversial redistricting bill was pulled from the House floor on Tuesday by unanimous consent. House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, asked to send HJR 2 — the GOP redistricting bill that proposed amending Idaho’s Constitution to add a seventh member to the Redistricting Commission — back to the House State Affairs Committee. The bill would let the state’s top elected officials — all Republicans — pick that final tie-breaking commission member. “That resolution, when it came to the floor, caused a lot of concern from some of our members here on the floor,” Moyle said.Full Article: Controversial redistricting bill pulled | Local News | idahopress.com.
Lawmakers say they are working on an agreement involving an impasse on legislation that could lead to changing the Idaho Constitution involving redistricting that Republicans want but Democrats oppose. Republican and Democratic leaders on Monday said they are talking, and that was enough for Democrats not to use procedural rules to slow down progress in the House by forcing the full reading of bills as they did on Friday.Full Article: Lawmakers agree to temporary truce on redistricting plan | The Seattle Times.
Three Democrats on a House panel considering a change to the Idaho Constitution involving redistricting walked out in protest on Friday at what they called a clear attempt at gerrymandering before the 10 Republicans voted unanimously to send the legislation to the full House. A short time later, the Democratic House Minority Leader, Mat Erpelding, continued the protest by requiring the full text of three bills be read before debate could begin. Democrats have said the redistricting legislation made public Wednesday followed by the hearing on Friday happened too fast to allow adequate public participation. “If they want to speed up the process, I can slow down the process,” Erpelding said after the House adjourned.Full Article: Idaho Democrats walk out as redistricting plan advances | 307 Politics | trib.com.
Lawmakers voted Wednesday to consider a change to the Idaho Constitution to add a seventh member to the independent commission that redraws congressional and legislative maps. The House State Affairs Committee voted to conduct a hearing on the proposal. If it passes by a two-thirds majority in the GOP-dominated Senate and House, the plan would then go to the voters for approval. Redistricting is important because it can decide which party gets the majority of congressional and state legislative seats. It is a contentious issue nationwide. Currently, the commission in Idaho is comprised of three Republicans and three Democrats.Full Article: Legislation would alter Idaho’s redistricting commission | Idaho Statesman.
Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said last week he would like to hire a cybersecurity specialist for his office to lead the state’s efforts to repel attempts to hack its election infrastructure. The new position would give Denney’s agency a full-time worker who can monitor and respond to threats against the state’s voter registration database and coordinate with clerks and other officials across Idaho’s 44 counties. Denney made the formal request to members of the Idaho state legislature last Friday, though plans for the new position have their origin in the $3.2 million grant the state received last year from the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission. According to a document Denney’s agency submitted to the EAC last July, Idaho would spend up to $220,000 in salary and benefits for a cybersecurity professional specializing in election issues.Full Article: Idaho plans to hire a cybersecurity specialist for elections.
Signs at the polls in Rexburg warning students in the college town, home of BYU-Idaho, against voting there “simply because you failed to register and vote at your true domicile” were taken down Tuesday afternoon, after the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho charged that they violated the federal Voting Rights Act. Chief Deputy Idaho Secretary of State Tim Hurst said, “They never turned anybody away. I talked to the county clerk over there today.” Nevertheless, the signs, which were headed in big letters at the top, “STUDENTS,” were taken down mid-afternoon. Hurst said the signs originated with the Secretary of State’s office a decade or more ago, but he wasn’t aware of any other counties that were still posting them. “They were displayed just about everywhere a number of years ago,” he said. Hurst maintained the signs accurately reflect Idaho law about establishing residency. However, he said, “If you’ve been a resident for 30 days, you’re entitled to vote.”Full Article: Signs at polls warning Idaho college students about voting draw legal complaint | Idaho Government and Politics | magicvalley.com.
The websites for the Idaho Legislature and Idaho’s iCourt portal were hacked Friday morning by a hacktivist group called AnonPlus Italia. From about 11 to 11:10 a.m., both websites were replaced with a black screen, and a manifesto written in Italian about government and media slavery. (The entirety of the text is posted at the end of this article.) AnonPlus is a sporadically active branch of Anonymous, a loosely connected group of hackers, which claim responsibility for online hacks that take place around the globe. AnonPlus was originally associated with a social network for Anonymous, but that network was later hacked by another group and ultimately abandoned. The name “AnonPlus” has been used occasionally in association with others hacks since then. It appears the most recent iteration of the group began activity this year. Italian media reported this week that AnonPlus had performed a seemingly identical hack — with the same message — on the K-9 Web Protection website, which is part of the Symantec antivirus company. K-9 Web Protection filters internet content.Full Article: Idaho Legislature website hacked by Italian hacktivist group | East Idaho News.
As midterm primary elections inch closer and closer, cybersecurity of election systems is top of mind across the nation. Seventeen states requested on-site risk assessments from the Department of Homeland Security to ensure elections are secure against cyber-tampering. Idaho was not one of those states but election officials say the Gem State is involved in informal conversations with both DHS and the FBI regarding election cybersecurity. That includes constant vulnerability scans. … Just last week, election officials implemented several DHS processes and recommendations to keep state elections secure. But among Idaho’s high-tech security measures, the state’s best defense against a potential threat is much simpler.Full Article: ktvb.com | As midterm primary elections approach, cybersecurity is top of mind.
Idaho lawmakers on Monday proposed a measure with strong Republican support that would dramatically change the state’s independent commission in charge of re-drawing congressional and legislative maps every decade. Redistricting is important because it can decide which party gets the majority of congressional and state legislative seats. It is a contentious issue nationwide. The Senate State Affairs Committee introduced a proposal that would amend Idaho’s Constitution to change the state’s redistricting commission from six to nine members, with the state’s legislative council deciding the ninth commissioner. The proposal will go to Idaho voters in November if it passes by a two-thirds majority in the GOP-dominant Senate and House.Full Article: Republicans push changes to Idaho's redistricting commission | State | idahostatejournal.com.
Idaho: Secretary of state seeks budget boost to upgrade software, transparency | The Spokesman-Review
Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney is asking for a budget increase next year of more than 70 percent, with most of the increase coming in a major upgrade to the state’s election software system to allow more transparent reporting of campaign finances, lobbyist records and election management and results. “This will allow us to migrate the full functionality of the state’s election software management applications into a single, comprehensive and purpose-built software suite that will carry us into the future,” Denney told the Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. “These areas represent within the election system the highest customer interest from a voter-information standpoint. It’s through these areas that voters can look up who is running and what they’re running for, who is contributing to the campaigns, and who is lobbying, along with our election management and an upgrade to our election-night reporting.” The move was endorsed unanimously earlier by a legislative interim committee that’s recommending more and more frequent campaign finance reporting.Full Article: Eye on Boise: Idaho secretary of state seeks budget boost to upgrade software, transparency | The Spokesman-Review.
A recount for a local election in southern Idaho has overturned a win that was decided by a coin toss last month. Dick Galbraith and Glen Loveland ran against each other for a seat on the city council in the small southern city of Heyburn. Officials said the race ended in a 112-112 vote tie, The Times-News reported To select the winner, a coin toss was held in mid-November. Galbraith lost and then requested a recount as allowed under state election laws. “I had a nagging feeling that it wasn’t right,” Galbraith said. “And honestly, I just had too much heartburn over losing to a coin toss.”Full Article: Recount Overturns Idaho Local Election Won by Coin Toss | Idaho News | US News.
Idahoans can now register to vote online for the first time. Secretary of State Lawerence Denney announced Tuesday that the move will offer convenience to voters and cut down administrative work for county election officials. “Today, Idahoans can not only find out things like where to vote, whether they are registered to vote, or whether the county has received their absentee ballot, but also register to vote online,” Denney said. Online registration requires voters, who would have to have a state-issued ID, to fill out an electronic application that is then sent to state elections officials for validation. The Idaho Transportation Department will provide digital copies of voter signatures from state-issued driver’s licenses to become part of the voter registration database.Full Article: Idaho launches online voter registration.
The contest pits incumbent Mayor Rebecca Casper against Councilwoman Barbara Ehardt. Thirty miles to the south, Blackfoot also will hold a runoff election between incumbent Mayor Paul Loomis and challenger Marc Carroll. Runoff elections are triggered when a single candidate doesn’t garner more than a 50 percent of the vote. Though Idaho Falls’ 2005 runoff ordinance is relatively new, Gem State cities are generally trending away from the contests because of their impact on local budgets and how infrequently they change general results. Still, a handful of Idaho cities use runoffs to magnify and hone candidate viewpoints, as well as allow their community to elect with consensus.Full Article: Pros and cons of a runoff election | Post Register.
Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney announced Tuesday he’s reevaluating the state’s involvement in a longtime multistate voter registration database. Denney says that his office has received hundreds of emails from citizens raising concerns about Idaho’s involvement in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. “I don’t think anything has been compromised up to this point,” Denney said. “But we have questions about the security and we need to get answers to that before we make the decision to participate again or not.”Full Article: Idaho to reevaluate participating in voter fraud program | Myrtle Beach Sun News.
Ada County elections employees have been leery of the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program since 2014 — the year they got burned by it. It was Idaho’s first year as a member. Ada County received a list of possible duplicate voter registrations and began to revoke several thousand of them, including then-West Ada School District Superintendent Linda Clark, radio personality Ken Bass and former U.S. Attorney and prominent Democrat Betty Richardson. Those voters began to call. What appeared to be duplicate records, weren’t at all. When the county realized it was in error, it quickly halted the revocations. Because of the Crosscheck program’s decentralized approach and a lack of feedback, it’s hard to tell its value to Idaho. But a look at what is known suggests it causes more problems than it catches — and it’s not clear that it’s helped catch any Idaho voter fraud that led to a conviction. … This year, 28 states — including Idaho — sent 98.5 million voter registration records to Kobach and Crosscheck. Those included such personal data as birth dates and partial Social Security numbers.Full Article: Kobach’s Voter Crosscheck has Idaho history of false alerts | Idaho Statesman.
Elections employees are raising concerns about an interstate program meant to detect voter fraud in Idaho that they said has led to errors. Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck program was launched in the state in 2014, the Idaho Statesman reported Sunday. The program compares voter registration records — which contain personal information such as birth dates and partial Social Security numbers — from its state members to find people who vote in more than one state. In its first year the program identified several thousands of possible duplicate voter registrations which Ada County elections employees later found were errors after voters called to complain about the pending revocations.Full Article: Election employees raise concerns on voter fraud program | McClatchy Washington Bureau.
Much ado was made earlier this year when the Trump administration asked all 50 states for their voter-registration rolls. Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney told Kris Kobach, vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, that the commission could have only the voter registration information available under Idaho law — name, address, party affiliation and election-participation history. Denney assured the public that other personal information collected on Idaho’s voter registration forms — a voter’s date of birth, driver’s-license number and the last four digits of the Social Security number — is not releasable under Idaho’s public records law. Kobach, he said, could not have it. In fact, Denney had already given it to Kobach. In February, Denney gave Kobach information on all registered Idaho voters, including two pieces of voters’ non-public personal information — their birth dates and abbreviated Social Security numbers. And that was not the first time. Kobach received the same information about Idaho voters in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Why did this happen?Full Article: Idaho gives private voter data to group with lax security | Idaho Statesman.
Responding to a question about when there might be online voting in Idaho, Phil McGrane, chief deputy to the Ada County clerk, didn’t waste words: “Not in my lifetime.” In 2010, Washington, D.C., experimented with an electronic voting system, inviting hackers to interfere with a mock school board election. Within hours, a University of Michigan professor and two graduate students had broken into the system, elected Futurama character Bender to the D.C. school board, replaced the “Thank you for voting” message with “Owned,” and programmed it to play the University of Michigan fight song, “Hail to the Victors.” The changes went unnoticed for 48 hours. “Unless you want Bender as president—and some of you might want that right now—we won’t be voting online,” McGrane told a contingent from the League of Women Voters Sept. 13 at the Ada County Courthouse.Full Article: Phil McGrane, Ada County Elections and Bender | News | Boise Weekly.
In the wake of the Trump Administration requesting partial social security numbers, dates of birth and other information about registered voters across the U.S., one Idaho state lawmaker is trying to keep that information private – at least partially. Right now, anyone can ask for a copy of Idaho’s voter roll, which gives out a person’s name, address, age and voter history and more. The measure from state Rep. John Gannon (D-Boise) would allow anyone to opt out of revealing most of that data – making only their name and voting precinct visible to the public.Full Article: Idaho Voters Could Opt Out Of Releasing Data Under New Bill | Boise State Public Radio.