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Civics 101: Idaho Officials Create Videos To Teach About Elections

Screenshot from Idaho Secretary of State video

The Idaho Secretary of State’s office has entered the civic education business. The office administers elections in the state and, last week, released the first in a series of videos that explain how those elections work.

Chad Houck says, after the 2020 presidential election, it became clear to him that people, in general, don’t know much about how elections work in the United States.“And because of that, they don’t know if it did or didn’t look right," said Houck,  who is Idaho’s chief deputy Secretary of State. He’s in a position to know what elections look like. Houck and his colleagues had been thinking for awhile about doing some election-related public education and figured this was a good time to get moving on that.

“We wanted to make sure that they understood what the voting processes are like, what the different steps of the voting process are and how voting happens and how the election process runs in Idaho," he said.

“Hello and welcome to the Idaho Secretary of State’s election video series," begins the voice in the introductory video released last Tuesday.

“The first video is just a 60,000 foot, for a minute-and-a-half or so, of here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to look, over the course of this project, we’re going to look at how does one vote? What security processes go into voting? How can you have confidence in your vote that your vote is counted? What are the different mechanisms for tabulation?” Houck said.

Those questions will be answered over a series of about three dozen videos, all 90 seconds to two minutes long, one or two released every Tuesday on the Secretary of State’s YouTube page. Tuesday is symbolic, of course. It’s the day of the week for elections in the U.S.

“Have you ever wondered what the entire election process looks like? What about the security procedures for elections?” asks a voice from the video.

The project will include several shorter series, including voter registration. That will start later this month. Houck hopes the videos will be widely shared, with students, civic groups and others interested in elections.

“Another great fringe benefit of having this content out there is that county clerks can utilize them as things that they pick and choose on topics that they want to hit on for training poll workers as well and making sure that poll workers are as up to speed as possible," he said.

Episode number two will be released Tuesday on the Secretary of State’s YouTube page.


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