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Election Denial in Idaho

  • 1 Election Denier currently holds statewide office with election oversight power.

  • 6 Election Deniers have held, or run for, statewide office since 2020.

The landscape in Idaho

Election Deniers gained almost no new ground across the country in the 2022 midterm elections. One exception was Idaho, where Raul Labrador was elected Attorney General. He was one of only five non-incumbent Election Deniers to win a race for a statewide office that oversees voting.

During the campaign, Labrador, a former U.S. congressman, said he would have joined lawsuits challenging the 2020 election, which his predecessor had declined to do. As Attorney General, Labrador is now in charge of defending Idaho election results in court.

The state in 2023 expanded a prohibition on the use of donations to support election funding. Idaho Republicans adopted a resolution in July 2022 promoting conspiracy theories about absentee ballots.

Idaho also provides an example of how dangerous election denial can be even when Election Deniers don’t win. The winner of the state’s 2022 Secretary of State race was Phil McGrane, a Republican who acknowledges President Biden’s victory in 2020. But two of McGrane’s opponents in the Republican primary were happy to lie to voters about 2020. One of them, Dorothy Moon, is now chair of the state party

At the federal level, one Member of Congress from Idaho — Rep. Ross Fulcher — was among the 147 who voted to overturn 2020 election results on Jan. 6 and 7, 2021. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that one in three Idahoans still wrongly believe Trump was the rightful winner in 2020.

1 Election Denier holds statewide Office right now.

Elections are run by the states. In Idaho, the Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State are the state officials responsible for overseeing elections. It’s up to them to make sure the will of the people is always respected.

Read more about The Roles of Our Elected Officials in Elections

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Election Deniers
Headshot of Raul Labrador
Raul Labrador

Attorney General of Idaho

Term started 2023

Term ends 2027

Election Denier
Election Denial Record What makes an Election Denier
  • Spread lies or promoted conspiracies about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election or subsequent election cycles in public, including in social media, press statements, or comments to the press.

  • Taken action to undermine the integrity of the 2020 presidential election or subsequent election cycles, including:

    • Filing or supporting litigation seeking to overturn the results based on conspiracies or baseless legal theories.

    • Filing or supporting litigation that was sanctioned for being malicious or without merit in the aftermath of an election.

    • Promoting or participating in a Stop the Steal–sponsored or branded event or rally during or following the 2020 election.

    • Calling for a “forensic audit” of the 2020 presidential election or a race in subsequent elections after the results were certified, were officially audited, or stood up to multiple legal challenges.

  • Falsely claimed former President Trump won the 2020 presidential election instead of the legitimate winner, President Biden.

  • Refused to certify, or called on or pressured election officials to refuse to certify, the 2020 presidential election results or a race in subsequent elections based on meritless claims about election fraud, voter fraud, misinformation, or lies.

  • Refused to concede a race, or publicly supported a candidate’s refusal to concede a race, after the results were officially audited or stood up to multiple legal challenges.

How Idaho compares

Every state runs its own elections, with its own laws and processes. Check out how Idaho compares with other states in its region when it comes to Election Deniers holding state election administration jobs.

Election Denial in Rocky Mountain States

Sitting official is an Election Denier

  1. In Utah, the chief election official is the Lieutenant Governor, elected alongside the Governor.

Voter turnout over time

Voters are always the backstop against election denial, whether Election Deniers are already in office or vying for power. It’s important to turn out for every election in your state—and to vote in every race on your ballot. Downballot races, like contests for Attorney General and Secretary of State, have historically drawn fewer voters, even though the positions are critical to keeping elections free, fair, and secure. Here’s a look at voter participation in Idaho elections over time. Notice that in years with several important positions up for election, some voters choose not to vote in every race.

Voter Participation in Idaho Since 2016

Attorney General
Secretary of State
  1. 2016 Presidential

    • President had a 60% voter turnout rate

    • Senator had a 59% voter turnout rate

  2. 2018 Midterm

    • Governor had a 51% voter turnout rate

    • Attorney General had a 49% voter turnout rate

    • Secretary of State had a 50% voter turnout rate

  3. 2020 Presidential

    • President had a 69% voter turnout rate

    • Senator had a 69% voter turnout rate

Voter turnout

Data on the number of votes cast in each race are from state elections depositories, supplemented with data from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), House Election Statistics, and The Book of States. Rates are calculated using the Census’s Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) estimates. Rates will be updated when the Census releases new CVAP data for 2022.

Beyond the ballot box

Each year, state legislators introduce thousands of bills related to elections. And in the past few years, we’ve identified a concerning trend. Across the country, state legislatures are considering bills that would make it easier for partisan actors to manipulate an election, and maybe even overturn the will of the people. We’re tracking these bills along with our partners in an ongoing series of reports called “A Democracy Crisis in the Making.” In 2023 alone, through early May, we tracked 185 bills introduced in 38 state legislatures that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with elections. 

The anti-democracy playbook is simple: change the rules and change the referees, in order to change the results. These bills go hand-in-hand with the Election Denier movement: They’re about taking power away from voters and making it harder for trusted election officials to do their jobs.

Read the full report

Legislative Interference in Idaho by Category

As of May 3, 2023, 2 bills had been introduced or were under consideration in Idaho. 1 has been enacted or adopted and none have been vetoed after passing.

These bills show that the threat to elections in Idaho, and all across the country, goes well beyond the ballot box.

  • Creating unworkable burdens in election administration.
    These bills would interfere with the basic procedures of election administration, increasing the risk of chaos and delay and enabling misleading claims of irregularity.
  • Usurping control over election results.
    These bills would give legislators or other state officials direct control over election outcomes.
  • Requiring partisan or unprofessional election “audits” or reviews.
    These bills would establish vague post-election review schemes without the professional standards of traditional audits.
  • Seizing power over election responsibilities.
    These bills would shift election administration responsibilities away from professional, nonpartisan officials and toward partisan actors in the legislature.
  • Imposing disproportionate criminal or other penalties.
    These bills would create or expand penalties for election officials in the ordinary execution of their jobs, including criminalizing inadvertent mistakes.

One of these bills was enacted or adopted. That bill fell into  the category of creating unworkable burdens in election administration.