Idaho election officials ensure ballot security for upcoming election

Posted at 4:41 PM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 08:40:15-04

ADA COUNTY, Idaho — This year's presidential election is just a few weeks away, and with today being National Voter Registration day, people are starting to prepare to cast their votes.

Election officials in Idaho spoke with Idaho News 6 about ballot security and what is being done to make sure your vote is counted.

"In Idaho, we have very specific standards on how we process ballots both in absentee and in person," Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck says.

According to Houck, these standards have been in place since the 1970s.

For those who choose to vote in-person, ID will need to be shown, or you can sign an "affidavit in lieu of" identification, certifying who you are. For mail-in and absentee ballots, they will be time-stamped when received.

"When they come in, they will batch process those on maybe a daily basis," Houck says.

It's required your absentee ballot must be returned by 8 p.m. on election night, so make sure to locate where an absentee dropbox will be. Ada County is expected to have multiple drop boxes in different locations.

According to Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane, Ada County is securing its ballots through multiple security forms. Including keeping things under lock and key, and control seals that can indicate if a vote is tampered with.

"This is the same thing that happens at the polls. Also, we have additional security here at our election's office. For example, our early voting site, a ballot box, may get completely filled just because of all participants. When that happens, those ballot boxes are transferred by two people. Anytime there is access to ballots, there have to be two people present, and then they are stored in our secure space here," McGrane says.

Live-streamed cameras implemented by Ada County monitors the secure space. Anyone can go online and watch the ballot store area.

"They can actually watch and see the ballots sitting in the control rooms at any point and time throughout the election. That's true for the absentee ballots, early voting and the ballots that will head out to the polls on Election Day," McGrane says. "Were working very hard to ensure the integrity and security. We want everyone to be able to trust both that their vote counted and trust the outcome and the results when we get those results out on election night."

If you have questions or need to register to vote, visit