- The Washington Times - Friday, October 8, 2021

Officials in Idaho are sending MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell a bill for an audit of the 2020 presidential election launched in the state amid Mr. Lindell’s claims of widespread voter fraud favoring President Biden.

Idaho’s Republican Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck told CNN Thursday that Mr. Lindell’s claims of voter fraud in the state — where former President Donald Trump won by a 31-point lead over President Biden - were baseless.

“This document [from Mr. Lindell] alleged electronic manipulation in all 44 counties. At least seven Idaho counties have no electronic steps in their vote counting processes,” Mr. Houck said. “That was a huge red flag, and … we knew we could either prove or disprove fairly directly.”

Mr. Lindell alleged last month in a document titled “The Big Lie” that a significant portion of Idaho votes cast for Mr. Trump were switched in favor of Mr. Biden.

Mr. Houck said Idaho election officials launched an investigation in response to the claims, but found only marginal errors in counting attributed to human error rather than widespread manipulation, as Mr. Lindell had alleged.

He said state officials will be “totaling up the expenses that were incurred in the process and we’ll be sending him a bill.”

In August, Mr. Lindell hosted a three-day “Cyber Symposium” in which he said he would produce “irrefutable” evidence that hackers, whom he said were backed by China, broke into election systems and switched votes in favor of Mr. Biden.

Mr. Lindell concluded his symposium without presenting specific evidence that China hacked the election. The event reached an estimated audience of 40 million online viewers and roughly 500 in-person attendees, including Republican state and municipal lawmakers.

Despite the August symposium failing to provide proof of a Chinese hack, Mr. Lindell remains on his campaign to prove the election was stolen, undeterred by the significant cost financially and the attacks on his reputation.

In February, the voting machine company Dominion sued Mr. Lindell and MyPillow for $1.3 billion in damages for defamation based on his allegations that the election was rigged.

In June, Mr. Lindell filed a $1.6 billion countersuit citing the First Amendment and claiming that Dominion had infringed on his right to free speech.

But Mr. Houck said Mr. Lindell’s baseless claims continue to have a severe impact on people’s trust in the democratic process.

“This was never about Mike Lindell, this was never about a partisan position on this,” he said. “This is about going after the integrity of not only the election system in Idaho, but people going after the integrity of the election system as a whole.”

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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