Ada County election system tested ahead of Primary Election

Election integrity
Posted at 5:05 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 13:44:58-04

ADA COUNTY — Idaho is one day away from the 2022 Primary Election where voters will head to the polls and cast their votes for whom they want to see in Idaho's top office seats.

The Primary Election results determine which candidate from each party will be on the ballot during the November General Election. Candidates have been campaigning for months as they prepare to battle it out for key spots in some of Idaho's top offices.

Ada County Elections is expecting a 30% turnout of voters — but you can still register to vote on election day. All you need to bring is a valid photo ID and proof of residency.

Election integrity has been a hot topic for almost two years now following the 2020 Presidential Election. Idaho has proved to have safe and secure elections and even refuted claims of voter fraud.

“We’ve never had widespread voter fraud anywhere in Idaho that I know of and certainly not in Ada County. You may have one or two people that aren’t sure about how the process works, but that’s what those elections representatives at the elections office are there for,” former Ada County Chief Deputy Sheriff Scott Johnson said.

With 197 precincts in just Ada County alone, the Ada County elections office want to ensure voters their system is accurate. The elections office held a routine logic and accuracy test last week — testing all machines that will be used in the election Tuesday.

Officials say all results came back accurate and the machines are working exactly as they should.

“We want voters to know that when their vote is cast, it’s going to make it through the system properly and be tallied properly at the end of the day,” Ada County Deputy Clerk Trent Tripple said.

Idaho has a clean election history with little to no problems when it comes to accurately counting ballots.

“A person’s vote is a constitutional right and we want to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to ensure that they have that opportunity to cast a vote and then again, that it's cast properly,” Tripple said.

The room where ballots are tallied is called a ‘clean room’ where nothing is connected to the internet.

“All of the ballots that come in via either a protected V-drive from the precinct scanners or the ballots that come in themselves go into that room and all of those things are connected to just one machine that’s inside the room that’s not connected to the internet. that ensures that nobody can hack our system and mess with the results,” Tripple said.

In addition, anyone can accesslivestream cameras that look inside where the ballots are kept at the Ada County Elections office.

“If people don’t trust the outcome of their elections then it's hard for them to trust their elected officials at the end of the day as well,” Tripple said.

Gov. Brad Little also signed a new law this year directing the secretary of state to order post-election audits for certain election results to ensure Idaho's election integrity.

“We look forward, following this election, to executing Idaho’s first statutorily mandated post-election random audit,” Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said. “We are confident the results of these audits will reinforce the already stellar work being performed across Idaho in our 44 counties. Our elections processes and procedures provide an example for the nation and are something Idahoans should be proud of.”