Conspiracy theorists pushing misinformation about the 2020 elections took their allegations to Idaho, and Idaho officials pushed right back.
Top Gem State election administrators in Secretary of State Lawrence Denney’s (R) office said late Wednesday they had visited two counties to conduct a hand recount of last year’s presidential contest after hearing from readers of a website linked to MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell, widely discredited for spreading easily disprovable misinformation in recent months.
Denney’s office said it received allegations, in the form of screenshots of a report published on Lindell’s site, that vote tallies in all 44 of Idaho’s counties showed evidence of “electronic manipulation.”
The only problem: At least seven of Idaho’s 44 counties do not use any electronic steps in their vote-counting process, making the claims impossible.
Those counties, all small rural areas, still count ballots by hand, bypassing electronics or machines altogether. That process is feasible because there are so few ballots cast.
“We call them Flintstone gaps,” Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck said in an interview Thursday, referring to the cartoon Stone Age family with a pet dinosaur. “That’s not a bad thing. It is a defensive choice, a defendable choice.”
Houck said county clerks throughout Idaho — a state former President Trump carried by a nearly 2-to-1 margin over President Biden in 2020 — had reported receiving threats after conspiracy theorists spread misinformation about vote tallies, and about alleged evidence of hacking into voting machines.
“There have been counties that have received threats of harm at the county clerk’s office, at the poll worker level,” he said.