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.”
Articles about voting issues in Idaho.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Secretary of State Lawerence Denney announced Tuesday he will not hand over detailed voter information to President Donald Trump’s commission on election fraud as part of a settlement with the Idaho Democratic Party. Idaho now joins 17 other states and the District of Columbia also refusing to comply with the commission’s request. Many others plan to provide only limited publicly available information. “We are very pleased to tell Idahoans that we have protected their privacy by negotiating for an agreement that Secretary Denney will not send the voter information sought by the Trump Commission,” said Bert Marley, chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party. Idaho Democratic officials sued Denney earlier this month arguing that the commission’s probe is illegal because Idaho law bans releasing private information for commercial use.
HB 150, the House-passed bill that sought to limit early voting in Idaho counties so that it could occur only from three weeks before an election to one week before, ran into trouble in the Senate State Affairs Committee this morning. Sen. Marv Hagedorn’s motion to pass the bill died for lack of a second. Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, then moved to send the bill to the Senate’s amending order for changes, to expand it to add another week of possible early voting time for counties; Hagedorn seconded the motion. Sen. Todd Lakey spoke against the motion. “This seems to be more about the convenience for the candidate than for the electorate,” he said. “I don’t like curtailing it. I don’t know if the amending order is the right way to handle this. I prefer to see a more consensus bill come forward if there is one.” Hagedorn’s motion then died on a 4-4 tie, with Sens. Hagedorn, Hill, Winder and Lodge supporting it; and Sens. Lakey, Stennett, Buckner-Webb and Siddoway opposing it.
Legislation to change Idaho’s procedure for special elections when an Idaho member of Congress leaves office mid-term cleared a Senate panel on Monday, and headed to the full Senate. No such election has ever been held in Idaho history, but Idaho’s process for a special election for Congress drew attention in December when 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador was interviewed by then-president-elect Trump for a possible position as U.S. Secretary of the Interior. The law says the governor would declare an election date by proclamation, and anyone who wanted to would run, regardless of party. That opened the hypothetical possibility of a whole array of candidates from various parties running together for an open House seat from Idaho.
Idaho students will continue going to school on election day. Legislation to declare a school holiday on every election day in Idaho was killed in the House Education Committee on Monday after it drew strong opposition from school boards and school districts across the state. The measure was designed to allow schools to serve as polling places without creating any danger to kids from all the strangers coming to campus. Chief Deputy Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane said the bill envisioned moving teacher professional development days to election days, so teachers still could be on campus, but not students.