They recently received a document apparently created by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, one of the primary voices still pushing the Big Lie, that claimed widespread fraud in the state during the 2020 election.
“The office of the Idaho Secretary of State takes free, fair, and accurate elections seriously,” Secretary of State Lawrence Denney, a Republican, explained to a local TV affiliate in the state. “So when we are presented with allegations that come with specific details which we can examine, we want to do so.”
The document, which was titled “The Big Lie,” because of course it was, alleged that there was vote manipulation across Idaho in 2020. “This document alleged electronic manipulation in all 44 counties. At least 7 Idaho counties have no electronic steps in their vote counting processes,” Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck said. “That was a huge red flag, and one we knew we could either prove or disprove fairly directly.”
Wanting to get to the bottom of the claims, the Secretary of State’s office sent out two employees to examine the manipulation claims in two of the state’s smallest counties by population: Camas and Butte. In Butte, Joe Biden’s vote count stayed exactly the same while Donald Trump’s dropped by 9. (“The Big Lie” documents said Biden had received only 130 votes in the county.) In Carnas? Biden’s vote total was exactly the same as had been previously reported while Trump gained a single vote — from 507 to 508.
In short: They found a whole lot of nothing. Human error in ballot counting at best — and a very far reach from allegations made by Lindell, Trump and others that there was widespread fraud and vote manipulation in the 2020 election.
What’s all the more remarkable about Lindell’s debunked claims is that Trump won Idaho by 31 points in 2020 — one of his largest margins anywhere in the country. Which makes a claim that there had been widespread voter manipulation in the state all the weirder. The cheaters spent time cheating in a state Biden lost by 31 points? Like, how dumb must they be?!?!?
This is all right from the Lindell blueprint. He did much the same thing recently in Alabama, alleging that 100,000 votes in the state’s 2020 presidential election had been flipped by malicious means. Nope, said the Republican Secretary of State John Merrill: “All our (voting) machines are custom-built. There’s no modem component. You can’t influence them through a cell phone or a landline. There’s no way they can be probed or numbers manipulated.”
Reminder: Both Merrill and Denny, the Idaho Secretary of State, are Republicans. And, in the case of Idaho, the Secretary of State took Lindell’s claim quite seriously, dispatching state employees to investigate the alleged fraud.
Neither of them found a thing. Because there is nothing to find.
That lack of evidence won’t stop Trump, Lindell and the Big Lie. But it should.