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Idaho Secretary of State Releases Preliminary Findings from Idaho Post-Election Audit Day 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Download the Press Release PDF

Date: May 26, 2022
Contact: Chad Houck, Chief Deputy Secretary of State
Phone: (208) 334-2852

Boise, Idaho — The Idaho Secretary of State is pleased to provide the following preliminary results from the 3 counties reviewed in Wednesday’s Day 1 of the 2022 Primary Post Election Audit. These preliminary results, while only numerical in nature, are the common starting point for the post election audit – the comparison of a hand count of a randomly selected group of ballots, from a randomly selected group of counties – to the results published for those precincts in the county canvass. While the numbers are a good indicator of the accuracy of the processes used to count votes within a given county, the ability to reproduce them manually also provides insight into the areas of ballot inventory controls, storage, retrieval and cataloguing processes, and reporting complexity, as these processes are necessary to both find the ballots requested, and reconcile any differences within the count.

Wednesday results were as follows: (*ballot count numbers below are based on number of gubernatorial votes cast in the republican primary. Actual ballots reviewed were higher due to overvotes and undervotes)

Ada County

  • 9 election day precincts reviewed (randomly selected from 197) – 2,184 ballots*
  • 1 early voting tabulation machine (EV 2-3) reviewed (randomly selected from 8) – 680 ballots*
  • 8 separate absentee batches reviewed (randomly selected from 201) – 734 ballots*
  • Total of ballots* to be inspected – no less than 3598
  • Race Reviewed: Secretary of State (McGrane/Moon/Souza)
  • Of all ballots reviewed, preliminary findings showed 0 variations from the canvassed counts for the reviewed race. 0.00% margin of error
  • Secondary observations regarding processes to be included in a follow-up report

Idaho County

  • 12 election day precincts reviewed (randomly selected from 28) – 1,642 ballots*
  • All absentee and early voting ballots reviewed – 754 ballots*
  • Total of ballots* to be inspected – no less than 2,396
  • Race Reviewed: Secretary of State (McGrane/Moon/Souza)
  • Of all ballots reviewed, preliminary findings showed 7 (+6, -1) variations from the canvassed count. Secondary review attributed 4 ballots to variations in adjudication in the early/absentee precinct between human audit counter and machine tabulation due to lightly marked ballots. 2 add’l were precinct counted undervotes due to light mark or selection marked out of the designated box (oval). 1 extra vote had been recorded in a hand count precinct (human error)
    • +1 Moon (absentee, light mark), +3 AB McGrane (absentee, light mark), +1 Souza (precinct, out of box mark yield undervote), +1 Moon (precinct, light mark yields undervote), -1 McGrane (overcounted, hand count)
  • Net count difference: -1       Margin of Error – 0.042%
  • Secondary observations regarding processes to be included in a follow-up report

Payette County

  • 6 election day precincts reviewed (randomly selected from 10) – 2,324 ballots*
  • All absentees by precinct were included in the precincts reviewed above – (no add’l ballots*)
  • Total of ballots* to be inspected – no less than 2,324
  • Race Reviewed: Republican House Seat 9B (Boyle/Syme)
  • Of all ballots reviewed, preliminary findings showed 3 variations from the canvassed counts at the precinct level (+1, -1, -1). Secondary review attributed two ballots (+1,-1) to a sorting error during audit, resulting in an offsetting error between two adjacent precincts. Final anomaly (-1) was not attributable but could possibly be further reviewed by looking at ballots issued in that precinct vs. pollbook minus spoiled ballots if over/undervotes were tracked (not counted in this instance)
  • Net count difference: -1       Margin of Error – approximately 0.043%
  • Secondary observations regarding processes to be included in a follow-up report

Total Ballots* reviewed – Day 1: No less than 8,318

Total variations: 10
Total variations explained/attributed upon further review: 9
Unexplained: 1

Overall net count difference: -2 (approx. 0.024 % of ballots* reviewed)

A secondary report detailing further findings, lessons learned, and recommendations of best practices will be drafted following Day 3, with an additional final report to be issued following staff and county review of the preliminary and secondary findings. “It is in these reports that we hope to be able to provide the real value of this process,” says Secretary of State Lawerence Denney. “Sharing the observations, both positive and negative, that our teams are able to make over the course of this process with all 44 counties is one way we can continue to push Idaho’s processes forward and guarantee the continued high integrity of Idaho’s elections.”

Thursday’s counties (Jerome, Bonneville) were showing similar preliminary results as of the time of this release, however the teams have not completed their review at this time. Those results for Jerome and Bonneville Counties will be released tomorrow afternoon. Friday’s counties will include Bannock, Kootenai, and Madison Counties.

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ABOUT LAWERENCE DENNEY

Lawerence Denney has served the people of Idaho since 1990. His public service began as a representative in District 13 and, following redistricting, then became a representative in District 9 until 2014. During this time, Denney served two terms as Majority Leader and three terms as Speaker of the House before successfully running for state office as Idaho’s Secretary of State. He is currently in his second term as Secretary of State.