Idaho asks Mike Lindell to pay up for pricy election audit

A Republican official from Idaho said a bill for the state's election audit will be postmarked to Lindell

Published October 8, 2021 8:07PM (EDT)

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is being asked to foot the bill of a pricy audit in the state of Idaho, which began after the bedding magnate spread a series of wild conspiracy theories about the state's handling of the 2020 election.

Despite Idaho representing one of the largest victories for former President Donald Trump, Lindell believed that he had won the state by an even larger spread — and sent election officials there a document titled "The Big Lie."

After looking at Lindell's "evidence," Idaho Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck immediately concluded "there was something amiss" with the claims being made.

"This document alleged electronic manipulation in all 44 counties. At least seven Idaho counties have no electronic steps in their vote counting processes," Houck told local TV station KMVT last month. "That was a huge red flag, and once we knew, we could either prove or disprove fairly directly." 

So the state conducted an audit to definitively prove the pillow maven wrong — an effort that was apparently successful.

Houck appeared on CNN Thursday morning to share the results, and later asked the pillow maven to put his money where his mouth is. 

"Lindell comes out with these claims that across the state universally, every county in the state of Idaho. And for that matter, every county in the United States was actually off by about 8.4%," Houck told CNN host John Berman. "We looked at that and said that is an absolute impossibility."

Houck continued: "We have seven counties in the state of Idaho that could not be mechanically manipulated because they actually still tally their votes. They're small enough to do that in a paper ledger or tally book. How would you manipulate a paper ledger?"

The Republican state official also said that they would be sending Lindell a bill for the entire review process.

"We will be totaling up the expenses that were incurred in the [review] process, and we will be sending him a bill."

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"This was never about Mike Lindell; this was never about a partisan position on this," Houck added. "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."

Lindell and his team of lawyers didn't return a Salon request for comment on whether or not he intends to pay up. Instead, Lindell floated another batch of wild claims, which included the assertion that his team had identified an 850-year-old that voted in the 2020 election. 

"I'll give you an example today, 2650 people over the age of 100 [voted in the 2020 election]," he claimed. "Now you might say 'well, that could be.' 2000 of them were over 200 [years old]."

In recent weeks, amid his quest to appear before the Supreme Court and argue his election fraud claims, the pillow tycoon has also taken to knocking on voters' doors to ask if they're dead or not.  

By Zachary Petrizzo

Zachary Petrizzo was an investigative reporter at Salon. Follow him on Twitter @ZTPetrizzo.

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2020 Election Audit Chad Houck Clip Donald Trump Idaho Mike Lindell Mypillow Politics Reporting Right-wing Media