Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, making his budget pitch to lawmakers this morning, said, “I do find it rather disconcerting that we're here on Friday the 13th.” He noted that his office is requesting a supplemental appropriation for $200,000, “for a public information campaign, voter information campaign related to the primary May 15th, which is a brand-new scenario in the state of Idaho.” For the first time, Idahoans will have to register their political party affiliation.
Ysursa said a “perfect storm in elections” is happening this year, with the new closed primary and redistricting not yet settled. He recalled how in 1984, the Idaho Supreme Court extended candidate filing by a week as a court-ordered plan was imposed. “That is not our goal,” he said. “We want to get this thing done. We need finality, so do you.”
Ysursa said he'll propose legislation this year to do away with Idaho's presidential preference primary in the spring, since both parties are choosing to hold caucuses instead. If that passes, his office will save about $60,000 on its costs for the primary election.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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