Tracking code caldwell guardian

Saturday, October 30, 2010

County Clerks Authorized to Open Ballots Early

We received this letter to all county clerks from a reader in North Idaho regarding opening ballots early.  Bill Hurst the Canyon County Clerk/Auditor has offered to THE GUARIDAN that there are ample safeguards to protect against any tampering of the election process.  We offer this letter as infomational should you hear about this and wonder how your ballots are protected before they are counted.  Bill Hurst also added that is is necessary to open and get these ballots ready to count in order to insure a timely result.  Idaho uses paper ballots to leave a paper trail and the paper ballots are considered the "gold standard" to protect elections and results.  Paper ballots give candidates a means for a recount if deemed necessary.

Here's a link to the IDAHO REPORTER.COM article on opening ballots early Ballots Opened Early

From: Tim Hurst []
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 3:20 PM

To: County Clerk-Ada-JoMeta Spencer; County Clerk-Bannock-Dale Hatch; County Clerk-Bannock-Jay Bingham; County Clerk-Bannock-Marla; County Clerk-Bingham-Marlene Jensen; County Clerk-Bingham-Sara Staub; County Clerk-Blaine-Jolynn Drage; County Clerk-Bonner-Diana Campbell; County Clerk-Bonner-Marie Scott; County Clerk-Canyon-Terry Warwick; County Clerk-Cassia-Dee Yeaman; County Clerk-Cassia-Theresa Woodbury; County Clerk-Elmore-Marsa Plummer; County Clerk-Elmore-Vivian Garcia; County Clerk-Fremont-Abbie Mace; County Clerk-Gem-Shelly Gannon; County Clerk-Gooding-Denise Gill; County Clerk-Gooding-Diane Houser; County Clerk-Jefferson-Christine Boulter; County Clerk-Jefferson-Shonna Allred; County Clerk-Jerome-Michelle Emerson; Carrie Phillips; Dan English; County Clerk-Latah-Susan Petersen; County Clerk-Madison-Marilyn Rasmussen; County Clerk-Madison-Sue Bagley; County Clerk-Nez Perce-Patty Weeks; County Clerk-NezPerce-Julie Latham; County Clerk-Payette-Luann Denney; County Clerk-Twin Falls-Larry Haycock; County Clerk-TwinFalls-Kristina Glascock; County Clerk-Valley-JoAnn Fly

Subject: Opening absentee ballot envelopes before election day

Some of you have again requested permission to begin opening the absentee ballots before election day because of the number of absentee ballots you are receiving and the need to allow the folded ballots to flatten out before being run through the tabulators. When opening absentee ballots our office has issued the following directive: · Calculate the number of absentee ballots you have received and figure out about how long it will take to open them. Then, count backwards from election day that amount of time. · After the signatures on the affidavit envelops have been verified against the scanned signature in the voter registration system and have been recorded as being received, the affidavit envelope and the ballot secrecy envelopes may be separated. Once separated, the ballot secrecy envelope may then be opened and the ballots removed to be laid out to flatten before running them through the tabulators. · In order to maintain the integrity and security of the ballots, after they are removed from the envelops, they are to be kept in a secure location with limited access. Any time those ballots are accessed, there is to be at least two individuals accessing them. Also, arrangements are to be made to have a guard (typically a deputy sheriff, police officer or private security firm) checking to be sure that the location is still secure on a regular and frequent basis during non-office hours. · Watchers, who have been certified by the parties or candidates, are to be informed of your intent to open ballot envelopes early and of your schedule, so they can be there if they choose. · The counting of absentee ballots is not to begin until election day.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call. Tim Hurst Tim HurstChief DeputyIdaho Secretary of State700 W. Jefferson, Room E205Boise, Idaho 83720phone:


  1. No thanks lets just wait till election day thank you very much. Canyon County is already the laughing stock of Idaho as it is. Between the commissioners land purchasing fiasco, then the prosecutors debacle, and now most recently the voting irregularities in Hurst's office, let's just say I would rather have the ballots locked in a room until election day and be overseen by the Attorney generals office until election day when they are ready to be counted.

    Trust in elected officials has run out.

  2. @ Anonymous, using the term “voter irregularities’ you are implying that there is some type of sanctioned voter fraud or tampering with actual or intended votes on ballots. For your information both incidences were insignificant clerical errors. Both times the errors occurred with individuals that knew who I was. They then knew that if they contacted the media and the “other party” they could attempt to make some political mileage of these two occurrences that were anything but “voter irregularities.”

    I would challenge you to get the facts from several sources than just a sound bit here or there. I am sure that even if the county sheriff pulled someone over and issued them a speeding citation on Election Day as they were traveling to the polls that too would be some type of voter irregularity a major conspiracy going on. I would further challenge you to contact me on my county cell phone 318-8139 and I will arrange a tour of the elections office and all the processes that are required to happen in that very small building.

  3. As the tyrannical Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin said:
    “The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”

  4. Mr. Hurst I won't be giving you or any other elected politician in this county my trust for a very long time if ever for that matter. None of you can be trusted anymore, and I think I speak for many of us when I say "We have had enough of the corruption in this county".

    I'm with the Guardian on this one. City/County Manager is the only acceptable future. It's time for we who pay bills to show you who spend the money, who is the boss! It's time to limit your over-broad powers and take back our government.

  5. 1500 blank ballots were turned in this election. I wonder what that means? I think they are 1500 votes of no confidence in our government.

  6. Did you see Brad Jackson winding up for the pitch of "we need a bigger building?" I wonder how long until they try to get us to pass a bond for another building. Here is a thought. If you need more space during the election season rent it for a month. Give us who pay the bills a breather.

  7. I have to say bravo Bill! I appreciate the offer extended to citizens to give you a call and tour the facilities with you if they choose. Increased government transparency is always desirable and I appreciate your offer. If only we could achieve the same with Garrett and crew.


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