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Eye On Boise

Fri., March 28, 2008, 9:34 a.m.

Election names bill passes

SB 1514, the measure to require a parenthetical (a person formerly known as…) on the ballot following the names of candidates who have changed their names to political slogans, has passed the House 64-2 and now goes to the governor. Rep. John Vander Woulde, R-Nampa, said, “I think most of us are aware that there is a candidate that has changed his name to convey a political message, which I think confuses the issue on the ballot.” The thinking behind the bill is that voters might confuse the slogan for an issue vote, and choose it along with a candidate, thus spoiling their ballot and invalidating their vote.

“Pro-Life,” an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate who was formerly known as Marvin Richardson, objects to the bill. He was standing outside the House chamber before this morning’s session began, trying to make his point. Pro-Life said he doesn’t object to the idea of the parenthetical addition on the ballot. He just doesn’t like the law, because he thinks it’s unconstitutionally changing the rules midway through the election cycle. “It’s an ex-post facto law,” he said. “I don’t think anybody cares about the Constitution.”

Pro-Life said he actually thinks the parenthetical addition is a fine idea. “I don’t want anybody getting confused,” he said. “When I go out and campaign, people don’t believe my name is Pro-Life – I have to show ‘em my driver’s license. They think I’m lying.”

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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.