Election employees raise concerns on voter fraud program
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Elections employees are raising concerns about an interstate program meant to detect voter fraud in Idaho that they said has led to errors.
Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck program was launched in the state in 2014, the Idaho Statesman reported Sunday.
The program compares voter registration records — which contain personal information such as birth dates and partial Social Security numbers — from its state members to find people who vote in more than one state.
In its first year the program identified several thousands of possible duplicate voter registrations which Ada County elections employees later found were errors after voters called to complain about the pending revocations.
The mistakes stemmed from election workers failing to take an extra step to crosscheck middle names and partial social security numbers in the possible duplicates.
The program doesn’t realize that most duplicate voter registrations are results of people moving, getting married or changing their names and doesn’t not necessarily mean people are committing voter fraud, said Phil McGrane, Ada County’s chief deputy clerk.
The Ada County office has been leery of the program ever since the 2014 problems and has become even more concerned after national media reported on the program’s security weaknesses, McGrane said.
“Given the security risks, probability of unintentionally disenfranchising voters, and rarity of efforts to vote twice, participating in this Crosscheck program does not seem worth the risks involved,” he said.
Ben Ysursa, who served as the Idaho secretary of state when the program launched and retired in 2015, said in a Friday interview that he does not think there is any voter fraud in the state.
Although voter fraud cases are rare, they do occasionally occur in Idaho.
A Lapwai man has said he voted twice in the November 2016 election, according to a report by the Lewiston Tribune. Valley County Clerk Doug Miller is investigating a person who may have voted in both Valley County and a county in Washington.
Both cases were not caught by the Crosscheck systems.
Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com