Idaho Secretary of State’s Office Works to Find Source of “Don’t Vote” Signs

The Idaho Secretary of State’s office is working to identify the source of the signs placed in Treasure Valley with the Do Not Vote message and QR code that redirects to the Ammon Bundy campaign website, who acts as an independent governor candidate.

The QR code opens the website, followed by a series of statements about how the person should not vote, if not informed, and if so, that person is the most dangerous person to democracy. There is then a button on the page with the description “Get to know”, which when clicked takes the user to the Bundy campaign page.

Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck said his office had contacted Bundy’s campaign on signs on Monday but had yet to receive a reply. No comment on Bundy’s campaign could be obtained on Monday afternoon.

The signs do not indicate who paid for them to be printed and placed, which Houck believes would be a breach of the campaign finances had the campaign known about them. Idaho law requires a campaign indicate on all political advertisements who is responsible for them.

“This is clearly a violation,” said Houck. “The question is, is this really part of the campaign?”

Signs began rolling out across Boise and Meridian last week, including along the main artery, Eagle Road and KTVB reported there are also signs in Emmette.

“This means that, in theory, this is at least October’s spend, meaning any October expenses or contributions will be reported by November 10,” said Houck. “It all comes down to is it coordinated, and if so, when did it come out?”

Houck said if someone had made the marks themselves without knowing about the campaign, it would have to be reported as an independent expense anyway. The filing deadline for these expenses, if under $ 1,000, is Tuesday, November 1. Expenses in excess of $ 1,000 must be reported within 48 hours under Idaho law.

“If someone reports it as an independent expense by tomorrow at the end of the day, that’s the answer,” said Houck.

The website domain does not contain the name of the domain owner, but the address provided is in New Plymouth and corresponds to the donation records to Jerry Jones, who donated $ 6,060 to Bundy as of August 2021. The call to the phone number associated with the domain goes into the recorded message that the call cannot be terminated.

Bundy reported two separate donations from Jones on Monday of $ 1,000 and $ 2,500, but Houck said if Jones pays for the marks, the donations will have to be reported as in-kind contributions, not cash or check. And if the cash donation was in addition to the donation in kind, Houck said, then the office would have to determine if Jones exceeded the $ 5,000 limit in the general election.

“We pay attention to it, we have certainly been made aware of it, and we are trying to find out where it is falling,” said Houck. “Definitely it would seem that with different connections and the fact that it indicates directly on the Bundy site that it is an independent expense or in kind, so we will definitely be following it up.”



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