Eye On Boise

Common Interest to focus on election reform

The Common Interest is planning to focus on election reform issues this year – including hot topics like vote-by-mail and changes in the primary system. Here’s a report from S-R reporter Parker Howell:

A citizen group influential in last year’s property tax debate will lobby for election reform this year as its top priority, its leader
announced this morning. The 1,073-member The Common Interest, headed by a Harvard professor, will study proposals for vote-by-mail and changing the state's primary system -- controversial topics this year.

Although a House committee rejected an effort to close Idaho’s primaries Monday, Republican leaders aim to renew legislation to require Idaho voters to register with a party to participate in the state’s primary. Currently, voters can choose which party’s ballot to vote on Election Day.

The Common Interest’s members also chose K-12 education and health care affordability and accessibility as priorities. They ranked Statehouse restoration and legislation to restrict elk ranching and “canned hunts” lowest of the 25 issues they considered.

Group founder and President Keith Allred said his organization may create longer-term committees to research education and health care
because they will be difficult issues to influence during a single session.




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