Election integrity. Stolen votes. Voter fraud. These are all comments that you have likely heard in the last several months — unless, of course, you live under a rock. Like any patriot, I was concerned about the sanctity of my vote in the upcoming municipal elections, so I did the only reasonable thing I could think of. I asked our county elections office about their processes. You may be shocked to find out that it is not some huge big secret shrouded in mystery. There are no secret routers hidden in closets. There is not even a secret handshake to get into the building. What you will find is about the nicest, friendliest group of people that I may have ever come across in all of my experience working with bureaucracies.
What I learned in my conversation with our elections supervisor is that they go to great lengths to not only ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote is able to vote, but also have multiple verification processes in place to make sure that every vote is counted accurately, and they also have specific processes to make sure that each voter only gets one vote.
Something else that I learned: Did you know that you can apply to be an elections volunteer? Seriously, you can volunteer your time and actually be part of the process. I cannot think of a better way to satisfy your own curiosity about the elections process than to actually volunteer. There are many types of jobs that you can volunteer for. You can be a poll worker, or you can also volunteer to be a poll watcher. There are various requirements for the various positions, so I suggest looking at the elections office website to find out the requirements for the various roles.
During the 2020 election, your Bonneville Democrats provided poll watchers and workers for the election. Clearly, as Democrats we are not satisfied with the local legislative outcomes — we are confident that our candidates would be better for Idaho’s families. However, our poll watchers were satisfied with the process and know that every voter that wanted their voice heard got that chance
We all owe the elections office a great big thank you for all of their hard work. It is a thankless job because no matter what someone has to win, and someone has to lose. The job is even more complicated now because across the country when outcomes are not what one side or the other wanted the first thing that people do is attack the process and those charged with carrying out the task of running elections. I can understand why; when you lose you want there to be a reason that is not about you. It is much easier to take if there is someone else you can blame.
In many ways, the elections coming up in the next few weeks will have more of an impact on your daily lives than the legislative elections so get out and vote.
David Roth is chair of the Bonneville County Democratic Central Committee.