Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, June 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 48° Clear

Eye On Boise

New presidential-only primary in March cost state $1.9M

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's Republican presidential primary election cost taxpayers $1.9 million this year, coming in just slightly under what state officials originally estimated. Idaho lawmakers agreed to move the GOP presidential primary from May to March in 2015. The conservative-dominated Statehouse argued that doing so would allow the Gem State to play a bigger role in deciding the presidential nominee. However, Democratic lawmakers objected to the move. They argued that taxpayers should not pay for a separate partisan election that is closed to voters who aren't registered as a Republican. At the time, proponents said creating a separate election just for the GOP primary would cost $2 million. Ada County, the state's highest populated region, had the highest bill out of the state's 44 counties. Official requested more than $391,000 in reimbursements to hold a separate election.

The Idaho Democratic Party didn’t participate in the primary, but the Idaho Constitution Party did; it drew 485 voters for its Idaho presidential primary. All 226,711 of the rest of the ballots cast were from registered Republicans.

At last weekend's Democratic Party state convention, delegates approved a resolution calling for the party to move away from its caucus system to something more inclusive, like a primary.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

Follow Betsy online: