(Office of U.S. Senator James Risch Press Release, January 5, 2021)
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators for Idaho Jim Risch and Mike Crapo issued the following joint statement commending efforts of the Idaho Citizens Committee for Election Integrity and its recommended standards for fair and honest elections:
“Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy. Further loss of confidence in our electoral system would be catastrophic for our country. It is imperative that Congress moves quickly to convene a commission to study irregularities in the 2020 presidential election and make recommendations for meaningful reforms. Any reforms put forth by Congress must adhere to constitutional principles of state sovereignty. It is imperative that states implement and enforce election policies that protect the integrity of all future elections and restore Americans’ faith in our electoral system. We thank the Citizens Committee for Election Integrity for their efforts and commend them for their commonsense recommendations to ensure fair and honest elections well into the future.”
On January 2, 2021, the Citizens Committee for Election Integrity, a group of Idahoans concerned about election integrity established to demonstrate the meaning of the Constitution by helping ensure the voices of “We the people” are heard, met at the Idaho State Capitol to recommend the following minimum standards for fair and honest elections. Senators Risch and Crapo will submit their recommendations to the United States Congressional Record when the Senate floor reopens on January 21, 2021.
Our Constitutionally guaranteed republican form of government relies on free, fair, and honest elections to select our representatives and leaders.
The standards listed here shall be used by our local, state and federal legislators as a metric for reviewing and revising election law to ensure free, fair, and honest elections where the outcome is accepted by all citizens of good will.
1. All voting processes, other than those needed to preserve the privacy of a citizen’s vote, must be open and available for direct observation, with no minimum distance requirements, and audit by agents of the candidates or parties.
2. All election materials must have a secure chain of custody at all times.
Election officials must be accompanied by observers when accessing any election materials. Records of the chain of custody shall be complete and available for audit.
3. All votes, regardless of voting method, shall be held to equal standards.
4. Voters shall only be qualified electors that are able to verifiably provide their government issued photo identity before being issued a ballot. Voters who provide false information, including information of voter qualification, should face severe penalties.
5. As a condition of being issued a ballot, the voter’s identity and signature must be recorded in a permanent record (Poll Book).
6. Original Ballots must have a physical form that allows voting choices to be examined and properly interpreted by the naked eye.
7. Ballots must have features designed to prevent counterfeiting.
8. An auditable system for tracking the status of all ballots must be implemented and maintained in the State of origin. The total number of printed ballots must equal the sum of the number of cast ballots, spoiled ballots, and unvoted ballots.
9. Ballot tabulation must be conducted by two independent and unrelated systems. The difference in totals between the two systems must be less than one half the margin of victory or 0.1% of the vote total, whichever is less. Tabulating machines must only tabulate and not modify ballots in any way, or be connected to the internet.
10. Before the results of an election can be certified, the ballot counts must be reconciled with the voter records. The margin of uncertainty must be less than one half the margin of victory or 0.1% of the vote total, whichever is less.
11. Lists of qualified electors must be purged of unqualified persons 180 days before an election. Voter Rolls should be vetted and compared with available government records to identify duplicate or ineligible registrations.
12. Laws and regulations governing an election may not be changed for 180 days prior to that election.
13. All election records should be retained and preserved for not less than 22 months.
14. Voter identification for provisional ballots must be verified, with information provided by the voter, prior to that ballot being counted.