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News >  Idaho

Electioneering questions persist in northern Idaho

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 11, 2021

Associated Press

Associated Press

COEUR D’ALENE – A northern Idaho poll worker illegally handed out critical race theory information to voters on election day earlier this month, a former school board member said.

Kootenai County Clerk Jim Brannon condemned such actions and asked anyone who witnessed wrongdoing at the polls to file a formal complaint, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported Thursday.

But it wasn’t clear late Wednesday if any complaint had been filed.

Dave Eubanks said he witnessed a Precinct 19 poll worker offering a voter information against critical race theory after handing the person a ballot.

“If that woman had been handing out literature in support of Black Lives Matter, she would have been shut down in a second,” Eubanks said Wednesday. “But the fact that she was handing out CRT stuff, I think people have winked at it.”

Critical race theory is a way of thinking about America’s history through the lens of racism. Republican lawmakers in Idaho this year raised it as a problem and accused universities of indoctrinating students. Others see it as a non-issue raised during an election year to draw voters.

Kootenai County Commissioner Chris Fillios said he heard that some sample ballots had been left in polling places, mainly churches. Nearly half of the county’s polling places are in religious buildings.

“Oftentimes, people take their cheat sheet or voter guide with them when they go to vote,” Fillios said, noting that’s OK as long as they don’t try handing them out. “Our poll workers do diligently check those, but they obviously can’t stand over the voter every minute of the day and make sure no one left a flyer.”

Hayden Mayor Steve Griffitts also expressed concern, but said he had confidence in Brannon.

“Elections are sacred, and we’re grateful for the volunteers that allow us the opportunity to freely elect our leaders,” Griffitts said. “We want to make sure that we keep integrity for our elections.”

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