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News >  Idaho

Bill to move up Idaho party-affiliation deadline dies; voters will be able to switch at polls on March 8

BOISE - It turns out that voters who want to change their party affiliation at the polls for Idaho’s March 8 presidential primary will be able to do so after all.

Legislation proposed by Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney to move up the affiliation deadline to Feb. 12 – a week from Friday – instead of the current March 12, has died without a hearing in the Senate State Affairs Committee.

“People thought it was too close to the deadline, by the time it could get passed and through both houses and signed by the governor,” said Tim Hurst, chief deputy secretary of state.

Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, R-Boise, the Senate sponsor of SB 1195, said, “It probably didn’t fit this election cycle, and it wasn’t worth the hassle of getting it done as quickly as they originally proposed.” So for the March 8 presidential-only primary, he said, “The current law is the current law.”

That means Idahoans who want to vote in the March 8 GOP or Constitution Party presidential-only primary can affiliate with the party at the polls and cast their votes, even if they’re now affiliated with a different party. Idaho’s regular primary election, for all other offices, is May 17.

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