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Idaho officials urge voters to be wary of misinformation

Vote
Posted at 2:48 PM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 16:48:44-05

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho officials are urging voters to get election-related information from trusted sources and report possible voting rights or fraud concerns to officials.

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and District of Idaho U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit in a news release late Friday said state and federal agencies are available leading up to and during Tuesday's general election.

Idaho's elections are run by 44 elected county clerks with oversight from Denney's office.

“It’s only logical, then, that Idahoans’ trusted source of information on elections should start in the same place — with their local clerk," Denney said in a statement. "The more we can keep the disinformation from spreading by checking details at the source, the better election we can run for Idaho.”

The secretary of state's website offers information about voting in Idaho, and officials also make available contact information for all the county clerks in the state.

“Voting is a fundamental right and one we should all take seriously,” Attorney General Wasden said. “A component of that is casting an informed ballot that’s based on legitimate information from trustworthy sources. I encourage all Idahoans to make this a priority before they go to the polls.”

U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit said he has multiple assistant U.S. attorneys across the state to address voting rights and election fraud concerns.

His office last week also reminded voters that the U.S. Department of Justice has a longstanding Election Day Program to deter voter intimidation at the polls, threats of violence directed at election officials and poll workers, and election fraud.

“The right to vote is the cornerstone of American democracy,” Hurwit said. “We all must ensure that those who are entitled to vote can exercise it if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt elections are brought to justice.”

This year's general election will be followed by an audit of ballots chosen at random from precincts in eight counties.

The audit follows a new law to increase public confidence in election results by checking paper ballots. Republican Gov. Brad Little called for such audits at the start of the year as part of his “Leading Idaho” plan that includes enhancing election transparency.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, an ally of former President Donald Trump, made baseless claims and floated conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election in multiple states to undermine voter confidence in the outcome. That extended even to deeply conservative Idaho, where Trump easily won the state with nearly 64% of the vote.

The first audit under the new law was conducted after the May primary. Officials said it found only six variations from initial results of about 20,000 ballots. About a third of Idaho’s nearly 1 million registered voters cast ballots in the primary.