Backers of a voter initiative to let Idahoans put in permanent absentee ballot requests, rather than having to file a new request every election, are trying something unorthodox: Instead of shooting for the 2010 election, they want their measure on the ballot in 2012, three years away. Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said it’s the first time he’s seen such a long timeline for an initiative, but the plan’s legal. “This is kind of a different take on it,” he said. “But they’re also looking at two years of county fairs, things like that.”
Larry Grant, a former Democratic congressional candidate and the head of Idaho Vote by Mail, said, “It will be easier to gather signatures when people are more involved in an election year. We just felt that we wanted all of 2010 to get those signatures.” Another possibility: After hearing about the signature-gathering campaign all through the election year, lawmakers could be prompted to drop their opposition and pass the measure on their own. More on this over the weekend, when my full story will come out in The Spokesman-Review.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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