Election Day Intimidation, Coercion, Lies, Hostility and Law Breaking by County Clerk, County Commissioners and Poll Judges
Disclaimer: The following article was written based on direct testimony from several witnesses that took part in the 2022 elections.
On election day, November 8th, 2022, there were several problems that were discovered at all Boundary County polling stations. These issues range from lack of actual ballot boxes, voting machine issues, hostility toward poll watchers and challengers, to lies committed by the County Clerk, and laws that were broken.
There was also a coordinated effort to coerce and intimidate poll watchers & challengers by the County Clerk, some poll workers and many of the precinct judges.
No Ballot Boxes Present at the Polling Stations
There was not a single ballot box located at any of the polling stations, for the purpose of putting completed ballots into. There are reports of people’s COMPLETED ballots being placed on tables for extended periods of time. Some people reported that voters demanded to have the option to put their completed ballots into an actual ballot box, and not into an electronic tally machine. These requests were denied, because the Boundary County Commissioners and County Clerk made sure that there were no ballot boxes at any of the polling stations.
Ballot boxes are REQUIRED to be at each precinct polling place, according to Idaho State Law. There are several mentions in the Idaho State Law actually talks about ballot boxes at the polling stations. The County Commissioners are supposed to “provide sufficient ballots and ballot boxes at each polling place”. The following is from the Idaho Election Laws Handbook:
34-902. COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TO PROVIDE SUFFICIENT BALLOTS AND BALLOT BOXES FOR EACH POLLING PLACE AT ALL ELECTIONS.
The board of county commissioners shall also provide a suitable number of ballot boxes for each polling place within the county, and shall have complete authority to determine the specifications for such ballot boxes.
Since when did American citizens lose the right to have their votes counted by a human being, or to put their votes into a locked ballot box?
Voting Machine Shenanigans
FIRST VOTING MACHINE
In Moyie Springs, the first voting machine that was used, failed to work properly. The machine was failing to roll the ballots, and the ballots were getting hung-up. Voters were burdened with standing around waiting for a place to put their completed ballots. Had there been ballot boxes at the voting stations, this issue would have not had such a negative impact on voters. The County Clerk is required by Idaho State Law to properly test and verify all electronic tally machines prior to the first vote. This was obviously not done at the Moyie Springs polling station. Here is that statute:
34-2413. PREPARATION OF MACHINES FOR USE—INSTRUCTIONS. (1) Before each election at which voting machines or vote tally systems are to be used, the county clerk of a county, in which voting machines or vote tally systems are to be used, shall cause them to be properly prepared and shall cause the election board to be properly instructed in their use.
34-2416. PROCEDURE FOR PREPARING MACHINES FOR AN ELECTION. (1) In preparing a voting machine for an election, the county clerk or the clerk of the city, district or other political subdivision, as the case may be, shall:
(a) Arrange the machine and the ballot labels so that it shall in every particular case meet the requirements of voting and counting at such elections.
(b) Thoroughly inspect and test the machine, and file a certificate in his office that the ballot labels have been properly arranged.– 165 –
(2) The arrangement of offices and names of candidates upon the ballot labels shall conform as nearly as practicable to the provisions of law for the arrangement of names on paper ballots, and in the event that there are more candidates for any office than can be placed upon one (1) page, the labels shall be clearly marked to indicate that the names of candidates for the office are continued on the following page.
(3) Representatives of political parties and candidates shall be permitted to examine the voting machines or vote tally systems.
SECOND VOTING MACHINE
There was a second voting/tally machine brought in, due to the first machine failing to function properly. This new machine had EXISTING COMPLETED BALLOTS inside of it. The counter also did not register zero.
On top of all of this, neither the first, nor the second voting machine were verified by the first voter to use the machine, to be EMPTY, and the counter set to ZERO. This was verified by the Poll Watchers at Moyie Springs.
The Idaho Secretary of State says that prior to the first vote on a machine, the first elector should be shown verification that the machine is EMPTY and the counter is set to ZERO. Only after this is verified, should the first vote be entered into the machine. This can be found on page 3 of the “PROCEDURAL MANUAL FOR JUDGES AND CLERKS OF ELECTIONS”.
The following Idaho Statute states:
34-2421. PROCEDURE IF A VOTING MACHINE BECOMES INOPERATIVE. (1) If any voting machine used in any election precinct, during or before the time the polls are opened, becomes damaged so as to render it inoperative in whole or in part, an election board clerk immediately shall notify the election officer charged with the care of the machine.
(2) If possible, the election officer so notified shall repair the machine at once or substitute another machine for the damaged machine.
(3) If no other machine can be procured for use at the election and the damaged machine cannot be repaired in time for further use at the election, or where in the discretion of a majority of the members of the election board it is impracticable to use the machine, the election board shall permit the voters to use paper ballots prepared as in cases where paper ballots are used. The paper ballots shall be furnished to the election board by the county clerk. The paper ballots shall be issued, voted and deposited in ballot boxes in as nearly the same manner as provided by law, except that the paper ballots shall not be tallied and returned by the election board. Instead, these paper ballots shall be delivered to the county clerk for his tally and canvass.
It is important to note that for a period of time, BOTH the first and the second voting machine were being used in tandem. How can this be, if the first machine was inoperable?
Completed Ballots Placed on Tables Out in the Open and Not in a Ballot Box as Required by State Law
Some voters insisted that their ballots be placed in an actual ballot box, while other voters had issues with the electronic tally machines not processing their ballots. In all of these cases, the completed ballots were placed on tables for the rest of the day. We have not received any information as to exactly what happened to these completed ballots. They should have been LOCKED in a ballot box.
Republican Central Committee was Notified about These Issues but Dismissed the Complaints
On December 5th, 2022, some of the poll watchers voiced to the BCRCC their experience while being poll watchers. Her experience was dismissed by the BCRCC. Here is the video of the challenger at the BCRCC meeting: Video BCRCC Meeting December 5, 2022
Intimidation and Abuse of Power
Hostility, Intimidation, Coercion and Lies Against Poll Watchers & Challengers by the County Clerk and Precinct Judges
Poll Watchers Denied Entry into Ballot Tally Rooms
Ballots were being tallied/processed in rooms at some of the polling locations. Poll Watchers were initially told they are not allowed in the rooms where poll workers were manually tallying votes. According to several poll challengers & watchers, the judges, the County Clerk and some poll workers were extremely rude, hostile, and some even got physical when the watchers attempted to enter the tally areas. At two locations, only a single watcher was eventually allowed to observe the manually tallied ballots being processed. It is important to know that several precincts should have had watchers present, but the workers, judges and County Clerk stopped them. Many watchers were so intimidated, they sat in the chairs that they were “ordered” to sit in.
Lies Told to Poll Watchers
The poll watchers & challengers were all told that they had to:
- Sit in a specific chair in a specific location
- Do not move around the facility
- Don’t speak
- Do not use your phone for calls, photos or videos
- You are not allowed to be present where manual tally of votes occurs
The County Clerk chose to follow “directives” by the Secretary of State, instead of following the actual Idaho State Law. After reading several cases regarding Secretary of State “directives”, it was discovered that these “directives” often carry no legal authority. They are merely “recommendations”, and are not enforceable, when the directives deviate from the actual wording of the law. the Secretary of State can only make enforceable directives according to State Law. Any directive based on their own ideas and interpretation of the law is not enforceable.
None of these “directives” exist in the Idaho State Law. Some of these “directives” are only found in a document issued by the Idaho Secretary of State called “IDAHO SECRETARY OF STATE DIRECTIVES“.
The packets handed out to poll workers and judges had the following “rules/directives” in them. As far as we could find, these directives do not exist in the Idaho State Law:
- Poll watchers & challengers must sit in a single chair, and not move around the facility.
- Poll watchers & challengers cannot speak.
- Poll watchers & challengers cannot make calls.
- Poll watchers & challengers are not allowed to be present and observe the manual processing of ballots.
The following Idaho Statute excerpt states:
34-304. CHALLENGERS—WATCHERS. A watcher is entitled to observe any activity conducted at the location at which the watcher is serving, provided however, that the watcher does not interfere with the orderly conduct of the election. If the watchers are present at the polling place when ballots are counted they shall not absent themselves until the polls are closed. A watcher serving at the central counting station may be present at any time the station is open for the purpose of processing or preparing to process election results and until the election officers complete their duties at the station.
It is important to note that directives from the Secretary of State are not law. In fact, the document provided by the Secretary of State does not align with Idaho State Law, in many sections.
Unprofessional and Unlawful Behavior of Poll Workers
Poll workers were observed by poll watchers making remarks for certain write-in candidates, and negative insulting remarks about other candidates. This occurred in at least three locations (Moyie Springs, Naples and The Bonners Ferry Fairgrounds).
Poll workers and judges are strictly forbidden from conversations that include making comments regarding candidates, or commenting on political issues, according to Idaho State Law.
Instructions from the Idaho Secretary of State Do Not Include Instructions for Manual Ballot Placement into a Ballot Box
Although the Idaho State Law clearly defines the process for manually casting ballots into a ballot box, none of the instruction materials handed out to poll workers & judges contained information on this topic. In fact, the Secretary of State directives had ZERO information regarding this topic. Poll workers and judges should have been given proper training on this topic, but the County Clerk failed to do so.
Poll Workers Abandoned their Posts
We received a report from the Copeland polling station, that all of the poll workers abandoned their posts for a period of time.
The County Clerk showed up, and called all poll workers and judges over to an area where the County Clerk could have a meeting with them. This left no post attended, and voters were left standing around not knowing what to do.
One voter asked a poll watcher a question. The County Clerk observed this, ran over and started yelling at the poll watcher. The poll watcher did not even have time to respond to the voter who asked them a question.
Idaho State Law states that at least one poll worker must be at their post at all times. This law was broken, when the County Clerk called an all-hands meeting while the polls were open.
Votes Cast by Email
We received a report alleging that during the 2020 election, the County Clerk enabled a family of voters to cast their votes through email. If this report is true, then the Clerk broke the law. It is illegal to vote via email in Idaho.
Signature Verification Problems
A voter told us her story about the signature verification process. She initially used a signature when registering to vote. However, she accidentally signed her ballot using a former signature that she no longer uses. Her vote was counted and processed. The signatures were never challenged by the Clerk’s office, or election official. Are signatures even being properly checked in Boundary County?
It is obvious that those who run the Boundary County elections are not interested in transparency in the election process. The poll watchers and challengers are supposed to help make sure we have honest, transparent elections. These people were met with hostility and intimidation by the County Clerk, Precinct Judges, and many of the Poll Workers. This only occurs when those who run our elections are corrupt. There is no valid reason why challengers and watchers should be lied-to, intimidated and coerced by the overseers of the election process.
Election laws were broken, and the Boundary County Republican Central Committee dismissed complaints by the poll watchers.
Election overseers should be transparent, professional and properly trained. This is not the case in Boundary County.
What are the people of Boundary County going to do to fix these abhorrent problems with our elections?