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Posts tagged: closed primary

Make Rod Beck’s Day, Get Unaffiliated

Before former state Sen. Rod Beck, R-Boise, weighed in, anybody who so desired could - within the privacy of the voting booth - participate in Idaho's GOP primary election. Idaho voters liked the flexibility of participating in the party primary that, given the relative weakness of the Democratic Party, became Idaho's de facto election. But Beck, who had been having trouble winning election in the Republican primary, figured the pesky Democrats were fouling the works by crossing over. The candidates he prefered - rigid ideologues on the GOP's fringe — couldn't win nomination. So he led a court battle to close the GOP primary to anyone unwilling to register as Republican. He won. U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill said the Idaho GOP could follow through on its plans. Beck got what he wanted. A lot of you stayed home/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you still think Unaffiliated is the right way to go?

Semanko Defends Closed Primary

Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko defends his party's closed primaries: “To help better explain why the Idaho Republican Party supported such a change, it might help to imagine a rivalry football game between the Boise State Broncos and the Idaho Vandals (unfortunately, imagination is all we are left with in this rivalary these days) in which Coach Peterson selected the starting lineup for the Vandals, and Coach Akey selected the starting lineup for the Broncos. You would say that is crazy!  But that is precisely what has happened in Idaho primary elections for almost 40 years.  Non-GOP voters regularly switched over and voted in the Republican primary since they know their parties have difficulties electing their own candidates. In fact, a survey conducted in 2010 by a professional pollster found that almost 40% of non-GOP voters in Idaho admitted to having voted in a Republican primary. This was just further evidence of the need for a change to Idaho’s open primary system.” Full statement here.

Question: Have you ever crossed over to vote Republican before? Do you plan to do so Tuesday?

$200K Sought For Primary Voter Ed

Idaho's election laws have changed dramatically for this year's primary election, due to the Legislature's passage of HB 351 last year to allow the Republican Party to close its primary to anyone who's not a registered Republican; Idaho's never before had official party registration. So Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa came before JFAC this morning to request $200,000 for a voter education campaign to bring Idaho voters up to speed. … The motion to fund the $200,000 from state general funds passed on a 15-4 party-line vote, with all four of JFAC's Democrats objecting/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Will Idaho Republicans suffer fallout this spring when many voters realize what closed-primaries mean?

Idaho GOP Can’t Challenge Voters

Item: Closed Idaho GOP primary is actually pretty open: Republicans can't challenge voters/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Bee

More Info: Voters who cast their ballots based on the quality of individual candidates instead of party affiliation need not fear Idaho’s closed Republican primary. Only voters who declare their affiliation to the GOP will be issued Republican ballots in the May 15 primary election. But moral questions aside, there is nothing that prevents non-Republicans from simply declaring a GOP affiliation in order to vote in the Republican primary. Moreover, there is nothing in Idaho Code which allows the GOP to challenge your declared affiliation if there are any doubts about your political persuasion.

Question: Even if you don't consider yourself a Republican, do you plan to cast a Republican ballot in the Idaho primary, to ensure that your vote will count in important races?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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