Idaho's Ysursa says 'absolutely no truth' to claim Obama has ordered U.S. votes counted in Spain

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa is debunking a claim that the federal government has transferred authority to count 2012's ballots to a Spanish company.

Ysursa said he was questioned about the rumor last week after at an Ada County Republican breakfast and responded with a joke.

"I just chuckled and said, 'Well, the Basques have been counting 'em for years — ever since Pete came in,'" Ysursa said, referring to fellow Basque and predecessor, Pete Cenarrusa, Idaho's chief election official from 1967-2002.

But Ysursa, a Republican, told me today that assuring public confidence in the integrity of voting is a serious matter. He dug into the issue after I inquired on behalf of a reader.

The reader called saying she'd heard radio talk-show host Michael Savage on KINF 730 allege U.S. votes will be counted in Spain. Depite being determined to be false by the rumor-vetting, the blogosphere is rife with such speculation.

In April, Savage said that a Spanish count is part of President Obama's plan to "steal" the election. His comments have been excerpted on many blogs.

"Did you hear that the Obama administration has sold the rights to processing our election results to a private company?" Savage said. "That this critical component of a free election — the transparent tabulation of votes — will not be handled by individual precincts but by a company over which we will have little control. Did you know about that?"

Ysursa said the rumor was sparked by the acquisition of U.S.-based SOE Software by Scytl, a Spanish company and leader in electronic voting in Europe. Scytl has done work for several states in helping Americans overseas vote.

"States conduct the election, not the federal government," Ysursa said. "The allegations that President Obama ordered the ballots to be counted in Spain — let's just say that's rather hyperbolic. There's absolutely no truth to it."

States still use physical ballots, Ysursa said, noting that predictions of converting to electronic ballots have failed to materialize. That's part because of notable failures, including the District of Columbia's 2010 pilot project for overseas voters that was hacked by students at the University of Michigan within 36 hours of the city putting the system online. Students posted the Wolverine fight song on D.C.'s website.

"Maybe I'm old school, but unless it's 150 percent hack-proof, we're not going to internet voting," Ysursa said.

In Idaho, 25 counties use optical scanners, with ink-marked paper ballots counted by machines operated by county clerks. In 15 small counties, old-fashioned paper ballots are counted by hand, also under clerk supervision. Four counties still use punch-card ballots, also counted by the clerks.

"There are physical ballots and they are counted by the counties," Ysursa said.

For those who still may have doubts, Ysursa said any citizen can sign up to watch the counting process on Election Day. "There are authorized watchers and challengers. It's an open, accessible, transparent system in Idaho, and in the other states."

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These people are off their rockers !!

My goodness, do we not have enough real information to worry about during this election without making things up? What is wrong with these people?

Thank God for Ben Ysursa

He and I may be of different political affiliations, but he's trustworthy, has integrity, and doesn't buy into this cr*p. (Lawrence Wasden, too.)


If Michael Savage said that the sun rose in the east, I'm pretty sure that I'd check for myself, just to be sure.

Sanity is totally lacking in politics

I consider myself to be Republican but these lunatic fringe assertions are just outrageous. For example, "Obama is a muslim", "Obama isn't a citizen", "Obama is stealing the election"'s all hogwash.

Romney's done a horrible job of selling himself to voters. You can't blame Obama for that.

If Romney loses it's Romney's fault--no one elses.

I agree completely

The GOP needs to take their party back.

I'm with you guys 100%

As a conservative, I'm wondering when exactly insanity become a core conservative value. Both parties have always had their fringe kooks, but ours seem to be taking over. I shook my head in disbelief yesterday driving by one of the billboards advertising that Palin will speak in Boise. I couldn't think of many people I would care to see less than her. Cripes, I know what the Dem's must have felt in the late 40's when the Dixiecrats were spouting their segregationist ideas as part of the Democratic Party. ((Steps down from soapbox))

The Democrats actually hung blacks in the '40's.

Some Republicans, that tried to save them got killed too.

Today the radical socialist end of the political spectrum is in the Democrat party. Just look at JFK's pro business platform in the '60's. Today that is the Republican platform. [pro growth]

But if Obama looses it will

But if Obama looses it will be Bush's fault or it will be because everyone who voted for Romney instead of Obama is a racist.

No one else in his party including the affiliated tribes help...


You fry wants with that?


you know conservativeredneck will swallow this story hook line and sinker


Michael Savage isn't telling the truth? What are we going to do with the 47% population of Idaho who believe everything he says? -insert sheep sound-

Yes, I said 47 percent.

Stealing US elections is

the US Supreme Court's job.




Whole lotta stupid goin on.

What's worse for our free

What's worse for our free society a political & cultural conservative movement that lives within a false parallel universe of fake facts and word smithing to distort context to demonize good people or is it the low information neighbors in our communities that eat up the fear based rethtoric of conservatism to hate the other guy because he's not like them.

Conservatism path is back to the dark ages, as it seeks to divide with individualism and stop all of us from living peacefully next to each other.


Repeat, LIKE.

Just curious

Do these people believe that Idaho ballots are somehow magically teleported to Spain after the polls close to then be counted and have results that same night?

I think they might! Or that the ballots are transported

in supersonic black helocopters that nobody sees or hears.

"Idaho's Ysursa says

"Idaho's Ysursa says 'absolutely no truth' to claim Obama has ordered U.S. votes counted in Spain"

So is it china? Cuba? Com'on popoff, don't make us guess.

Nowhere, man.


You fry wants with that?