North Idaho Slow Growth
Nov 25, 2022
This article raises questions about Kootenai County's official list of registered voters. We are not attempting to prove that election fraud has occurred; only that conditions conducive to electon fraud seem to exist in Kootenai's Electoral Rolls.
When the Slog Blog investigated the 2021 election, we focused on discrepancies in absentee ballots cast and did not examine voter lists. But after the second national election in a row marked by flagrant fraud and criminal conspiracy, we decided to look behind the scenes. And this is what we found.
These enormous spikes in registration data in Kootenai County look suspicious. Could they be due to recent arrivals? No. Almost all occurred before the "Move to Idaho" frenzy of 2020, and the total number of new registrations vs. population growth is far too high. More than 90K new registrations were recorded between 2010 and 2020, about three times the expected increase in voters.
What follows is our analysis of irregularities in Kootenai County's voter registration data. We used official election records, the U.S. Census, and Idaho's official list of registered voters as our sources. We also investigated Idaho Election statutes relevant to registration, and the 2002 Federal Help America Vote Act in order to understand how the problems in Kootenai's voter rolls could have come about.
ANALYSIS OF KOOTENAI COUNTY VOTER REGISTRATION DATA 2010-2021
1) ENORMOUS SPIKES OF NEW VOTERS IN 2016, 2018, 2020
The most glaring problem with the voter rolls is a tremendous spike in registrations over the last six years that far exceeds the corresponding population growth. Registration spikes occurred in 2016, and 2018, but the 2020 Spike was enormous, about half the size of the official registration rolls.
What is most curious, however, is that the large spikes in registrations during 2016, 2018, and 2020 were only partially reflected in the number of "registered voters" in subsequent elections. For example, while over 20K new registrations were recorded during 2017-18, the official registration rolls barely increased at all. The only explanation for this is that just as thousands of new registration records were being added to the voter rolls, thousands more must have been removed. Why are so many registered voters being removed from the rolls as well as added? Here are a few possible explanations:
- Monthly correction of registers from reported deaths [Idaho Elections statute 34-433].
- Yearly removal of "inactive" voters, who have not voted in four years [Idaho Elections statute 34-435].
- Re-registration of existing Kootenai residents due to a change of address or some other factor. It appears that many long-time voters have re-registred recently, but the reason is not clear.
Kootenai voter rolls are being constantly "cleaned up" to remove inactive voters. But the question is, how many Kootenai residents, on a year-to-year basis, go to the trouble of registering, and then fail to vote for four years? Turnout appears to be high during Presidential elections. Could there be some other reason that voter data is being removed from the rolls?
Between 2017-21 almost 60K residents registered to vote, but during the same time, the voter rolls only increased by about 25K. What happened to the other 35K voters? What we seem to be seeing is not just spikes in voter registrations, but a combination of both increased registration and increased removal of voters. This churning of voter rolls, with elevated registrations and deletions every few years makes looking for irregularities in voting patterns difficult.
2) PROBLEMS WITH ELECTRONIC ELECTION RECORDS.
In past decades, voter rolls have been criticized for including dead voters, illegal voters, non-existent voters, etc. However, the Help America Vote Act, (HAVA) a major revision of Federal voting laws passed in 2002, included provisions that helped combat certain types of voter fraud. For example, it mandated that all states must create state-level computerized databases of registered voters that can be cross-referenced with drivers' license information. On the surface, this appears to enhance voter integrity by making it possible to easily verify the validity of voter information. But unfortunately, there is a dark side to computerized voting records.
The truth is that electronic voting records are only as secure as the systems under which they operate. Just as corrupt election officials could manipulate vote totals at the precinct level under the "old" system, computer savvy scoundrels can manipulate electronic voting data at the local or state level, and do even worse damage. And electronic voter fraud is harder to recognize and prevent than old-fashioned, low-tech election-rigging.
Computerized voter rolls definitely make it easy to root out fake registrations, but other advances in election technology make election data less, rather than more secure. Online registration, online absentee ballot requests, electronic tabulators, and electronic authentication of election day voters, all provide increased opportunity for malicious actors to manipulate voting records.
HAVA's solution to the extremely serious problem of computerized election security was the creation of a new federal bureaucracy, the Election Assistance Commission. Most of the 64 page text of HAVA is dedicating to describing the organization and duties of this commission. The EAC includes a "Technical Guidelines Development Committee", an "Election Standards Board", and several other important-sounding delegations. And somehow this spider's web of un-elected, unaccountable committees, is tasked with addressing dozens of highly politicized issues related to electronic security. Some of the problems that the EAC is expected to deal with include voting machine certification, election security "standards", handicapped voting technologies, chain-of-custody practices, election audits, provisional voting practices, enforcement of "non-discriminatory" voting laws, and funding research into advanced voting technology. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
And even if it was possible to put any real hope for "election integrity" in the hands of a federally chartered, thoroughly politicized "Election Assistance Committee", advances in computer technology have out-stripped any possibility that an "election security" system imposed twenty years ago could be effective in the modern age. The "computer security" provisions provided for in HAVA are not only inadequate, they make elections less secure, less transparent, and easier to rig at the state and federal level across multiple jurisdictions.
3) REGISTERED VOTERS ARE VALID RESIDENTS
Returning to Kootenai county, we have inspected a sampling of the new registrations, and there appear to be few fake or “bogus” residents among them. In most cases, newly registered voters appear to be valid residents, residing at the specified address. So it seems that Kootenai County doesn't have an enormous problem with fake, dead, or duplicate voters on its rolls.
The problem is, system-wide election fraud using "real-resident" data is far more difficult to recognize or prove than precinct-level fraud using "fake-resident" data. And allowing for online registration, online application for absentee ballots, and day-of-election provisional voting means that anyone with access to a database of Idaho Driver License information has all they need to register "real" residents or request absentee ballots for them. And if this type of auto-generation of this type were done on a large scale, this could trigger the "re-registration" of thousands of existing voters, which would appear as new registrations, without actually increasing the number of registered voters. This, in fact, appears to be what we are seeing in the voter rolls: Thousands of long time voters appear to have recent registration dates.
We are not claiming that voter fraud has occurred; we are only pointing out that out-dated electronic voting systems are not secure and inflated voting rolls enable systematic fraud. The only way that fraud can be prevented in electronic voting systems is by using Blockchain technology to make them transparent and easily inspectable by independent researchers. Yet neither the Federal or State government have made any serious attempt to move to a more secure, transparent system. Kootenai's County's current computerized electoral system is thoroughly out-dated, not secure, and non-transparent. Who benefits from a hackable system and a lack of transparency?
4) SIGNS THAT SOME REGISTRATIONS WERE AUTO-GENERATED
While definite proof of election fraud is difficult to provide, a strong case can be made that a certain amount of tampering with Kootenai Voter Rolls may have occurred in recent years. Other than the obviously irregular spikes in registrations in 2016, 2018, and 2020, there are additional factors that indicate that a significant percentage of registrations over the last few years may have been auto-generated.
- Over 58% of voters in the current electoral rolls registered after 2015, and over 80% registered after 2011. Less than 17K Kootenai residents have long-term voting records. Could systematic re-registration of existing voters be occurring?
- The registration dates of over 35K new voters during 2020 were regularly spaced with numerous registrations occurring daily, even months ahead of elections.
- It is normal for voter registrations to ramp up before an election, and drop off thereafter. But in 2020 the unusually high rate of voter registration continued even after election day.
- The number of election-day registrations in recent years has been enormous. Between 2016 and 2020, there have been a staggering 18,000 election day registrations. This indicates either fraud, or an intolerably flawed system of cleansing voter rolls.
In addition to the problems listed above, it appears as though voters who registered on election day are not included as "Registered Voters" in official election results (confirmed by election officials). And given that in recent years election day registrants are in the thousands, this omission means that official reports of "Registered Voters" are not reliable. In Nov of 2018, for example, over four thousand voters, comprising 8 percent of those who cast a ballot, registered on election day, but their registratons were NOT included in the election day reports of "Registered Voters."
These statistics are too far off to be ignored. Any election in which such a high percentage of voters who register on election day cannot possibly be a "secure" election.
A final reason to believe that there are unexplained problems with Kootenai's electoral rolls is the extraordinarily high voter turnout in the last few years. Most notably, the 90K turnout for the 2020 election was completely out of line with past years, and is difficult to believe. However, since turnout is calculated as percentage of registered voters, and 2020 saw a jump of over 30K new registered voters, the outsized voter participation was not obvious to most observers. And similar patterns of elevated voter participation were reported all over the country.
Many of the seeming irregularities in Kootenai's Registration numbers over the last six years are obvious and it is difficult to believe that Kootenai election officials are unaware of these developments. The people causing the problems may have nothing to do with the elections department, since anyone with access to Idaho State driver's license database could inflate Kootenai voter rolls using regular online, apparently legitimate registration procedures.
Individuals involved with Kootenai elections may not know why the irregularities exist, or how the registrations databases have been manipulated. But the huge spikes in voter registration over the last several years is simply too enormous to miss. The failure to investigate and explain these irregularities is in itself, a serious breach of trust.
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