Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, successfully introduced a bill today to require party registration in Idaho – a bill the House State Affairs Committee had refused to introduce last week, without noticing that the co-sponsors included the entire House GOP leadership team. A trip to the party leaders’ woodshed followed. Hagedorn told the committee this morning that he’d made a few changes to the bill “based on many of the comments you made last week.” The bill still requires Idaho voters to register with a political party or to register with no party, and then doesn’t let them vote in a party’s primary unless they’re registered members of that party. It does allow an exception, however, if a party chooses to open its primary to independents or to members of other parties. The concept, though endorsed by the Idaho Republican Party platform, is a controversial one in a state in which a third of voters identify themselves as independents. The measure is now sponsored by 21 House Republicans.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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