Why Is Mike Lindell Challenging the Presidential Election Results In... Idaho?

My Pillow CEO Michael Lindell speaks as President Donald Trump listens during the daily coronavirus response briefing at the White House, March 30, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Mocking Mike Lindell and his nutty conspiracy theories is akin to shooting fish in a barrel, but there’s one detail left out of this story that illuminates how spectacularly around-the-bend the efforts to recount, re-litigate, and disprove the 2020 election results have gone:

Staff from the Idaho Secretary of State’s office visited two Idaho counties last week following receipt of information that alleged statewide manipulation of Idaho’s election results.

“The office of the Idaho Secretary of State takes free, fair, and accurate elections seriously,” says Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, “so when we are presented with allegations that come with specific details which we can examine, we want to do so.”

The document in question, dubbed “The Big Lie” and shared publicly by a website bearing the copyright of Michael J. Lindell, claims that votes actually cast for Donald J. Trump had been switched electronically and recorded as votes for Joseph Biden.

“Once we had the document in hand, we immediately believed there was something amiss,” says Chief Deputy Secretary Chad Houck. “This document alleged electronic manipulation in all 44 counties. At least 7 Idaho counties have no electronic steps in their vote counting processes,” states Houck, “That was a huge red flag, and one we knew we could either prove or disprove fairly directly.”

…Butte County’s official canvas showed 1,202 votes for Trump and 188 votes for Biden. “The actual ballots, upon manual inspection and hand-evaluation in the presence of local representatives from both Republican and Democratic parties, in fact showed exactly the expected 188 marked votes for Biden, not 130 as alleged,” says Houck.

The only anomaly was that only 1406 of the 1415 ballots originally tallied for the county’s canvas were counted, resulting in a lower number of 1193 for Trump compared to the canvased 1202. (The remaining 25 ballots represent other candidates as well as overvotes, undervotes, and write-in ballots.)

The little detail that went unmentioned in that story is that Donald Trump won Idaho, 63.8 percent to Biden’s 33 percent. Trump won 41 of the state’s 44 counties. In terms of percentage margin, Idaho was Trump’s fifth-best state.

Even if you bought into the baseless conspiracy theory that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, and that Trump won enough votes in enough states to reach 270 electoral votes… what is the point of a Trump supporter looking at Idaho’s vote count and trying to find Trump votes that were undercounted or Biden votes that were undercounted? Trump already won that state, by a lot! What, do they want to revise the record of Trump’s victory to a 65 percent to 30 split? Is the aim to tweak the national popular vote totals by one-tenth of one percentage point?

If there was a nefarious conspiracy in Idaho that switched votes from Trump to Biden… that nefarious conspiracy did a really terrible job! What, did half the conspirators oversleep on Election Day?

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