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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Two bills to tweak rules for running for office introduced

Here’s a news item from the Twin Falls Times-News: BOISE – Two bills to clarify some legal requirements for running for office were introduced Monday morning. The first would change the law to specify that a candidate for Legislature must be a registered voter in the legislative district for a year before running. While the Secretary of State' office has interpreted the state Constitution's requirement that a candidate be an "elector" for a year as meaning a registered voter, the related Idaho statute isn't clear, Chief Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst told the House State Affairs Committee. The second gets rid of an old legal requirement imposing a five-day waiting period for elected officials who want to switch parties, instead allowing the change in registration to take effect immediately. Both bills were prompted by recent court cases, Hurst said. In the case of the first bill Caleb Hansen filed to run for a Boise legislative seat but was disqualified by the Secretary of State's office because he had registered to vote in the district only a day before filing to run. The second bill was prompted by a court case in 2016 in Teton County, when incumbent Sheriff Tony Liford, who was elected in 2012 as a Democrat, filed as a Republican to run for re-election in 2016. The Teton County Clerk removed his name from the ballot because of the five-days rule, but a federal judge reversed the decision. The court said the five-day requirement conflicts with other statutes that allow a voter's change in registration to take effect immediately, noting that it could allow someone to vote as a member of a particular party but not run for office as one.


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.

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