Idaho Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck went on CNN Thursday to explain how Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin (R) can effectively sieze power, albeit very briefly, while Gov. Brad Little (R) is out of state on official business. But he made news by disclosing that Idaho plans to bill MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for the cost of the state's audit of the 2020 election in three counties.
The bill is will probably be around $6,500, Houck said, conceding it's unlikely Lindell will actually pay up without legal action. Still, "why not try and get Lindell to reimburse the state for having to refute his false claim?" he told the Idaho Statesman on Thursday.
Idaho's national election results weren't particularly close — former President Donald Trump won the state with 63.8 percent of the vote — but Lindell's claims that the ballots were electronically flipped from Trump to President Biden in all 44 Idaho counties got so much exposure, state officials decided to disprove his baseless assertions by checking the vote tallies in three small counties that still vote on paper — the "low-hanging fruit," as Houck put it. The final audit was completed last Saturday, and the result was a 0.1 percent margin of error across all three counties.
"Our premise was, if we could get in and out of two of those counties in a day, and in a day disprove the theory of what was being alleged there, that would be a good use of time," Houck told the Statesman. "While our team is always looking for possible vulnerabilities, this allegation was patently without merit from the first look," he said in a statement Wednesday. "It takes hard work to build confidence in a state's elections system, and careless accusations like this can cause tremendous harm. Doing nothing and saying nothing would have been like conceding its truth."