Elections Security FAQs
What is the Idaho Secretary of State’s office doing to make sure our elections are secure from cyberattacks?
We have taken several precautions to help keep Idaho’s elections secure. First and foremost, Idaho is—and will continue to be—a 100 percent paper ballot state. We do NOT use voting machines connected to the internet. By using paper ballots, we create a verifiable paper trail that allows us to audit the machine tabulated results. The office of the Secretary of State also employs computer security staff, consults regularly with security experts, and collaborates with other agencies to help keep our election system secure.
How secure are the electronic tabulating machines used by the various counties or precincts in Idaho?
It is important to know Idaho’s tabulating machines are NOT connected to the internet and are only used to count the paper ballots. Every tabulating machine is tested to verify the accuracy of the counts immediately before and after each election. This is done by preparing a test set of ballots and then comparing the totals provided by the machine to a hand count of the same set.
How does the Secretary of State work with local election officials to help keep Idaho’s elections secure?
County clerks and local election officials have an important responsibility in safeguarding voter information and Idaho’s election process. This is why we routinely communicate with the counties to share election security information and procedures with them. This includes a variety of ongoing activities such as providing training, certifying voting systems, and more. In addition to sharing routine information, we recently invited local officials to participate in an election cybersecurity exercise which included participants
from more than nine federal agencies and chief election officials from 18 states. Our goal is to work closely with local officials to ensure Idaho’s elections are secure before, during, and after every election.
What safeguards are in place to prevent someone from changing the outcome of an election?
Election laws and procedures are in place to help prevent and protect against human error and dishonesty. There are several ways we guard against the possibility of election fraud and manipulation. One of the most important protections is offered by the private citizens who serve as poll workers on Election Day. For more information on what poll workers do, or to learn how you can become a poll worker, please visit the Poll Worker page.
Idaho law also allows political parties and candidates to select representatives to act as poll watchers on Election Day. Poll watchers can be assigned to polling places throughout Idaho to monitor poll workers and observe the election process.
What if someone tries to vote more than once in an election?
The office of Secretary of State has taken several steps to prevent and identify voter fraud. Cases of voter impersonation, non-citizen voting, double voting, and other types of voter fraud are rare. In Idaho, nearly all incidents of suspected voter fraud turn out to be mistakes rather than cases of intentional fraud.
We will be alerted of any duplicate votes because each voter can only have one active record in the voter database. Intentionally voting more than once in an election is considered to be voter fraud and is a felony offense punishable by a fine of up to $50,000, up to 14 years in prison, or both. Any incidents of voter fraud are reported to the county prosecuting attorney.
What can I do to help prevent voter fraud?
One of the best ways to prevent voter fraud is for you to vote regularly and to update your voter registration information every time you move. You can do this easily using our online voter tools.
To report suspected voter fraud, please email us at [email protected].
What should I do if my voter registration information is wrong or is missing? It’s already past the deadline to pre-register online for this election, and I want to vote. What can I do?
Idaho law allows you to register in person on the day of an election. If you have missed the online or mail-in voter pre-registration deadline, you can still register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day. Simply go to your regular polling place or early voting site to register and vote. Be sure you are informed about Idaho’s identification requirements.
Contact your local county clerk if you have any questions about how to register and vote on Election Day.