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Idahoans for Open Primaries initiative appears on November ballot
Idahoans for Open Primaries initiative appears on November ballot

BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho Secretary of State’s office has announced that the Idahoans for Open Primaries initiative has met the legal requirements to be placed on the ballot in November.

A letter of acceptance published on Wednesday, July 10, confirms that the initiative has reached the required minimum number of 62,895 signatures, which corresponds to six percent of all registered voters in the last parliamentary election.

The Attorney General of Idaho gave the initiative the official title “A measure to (1) replace the selection of party candidates by voters with nonpartisan primaries and (2) require ranked choice voting in general elections.”

The Attorney General’s Office also presented the following summary of the initiative:
First, this measure would eliminate party primaries in Idaho. Under current law, political parties nominate their candidates through primaries, in which party members vote for a candidate to represent the party in the general election. The initiative would create a system in which all candidates participate in a nonpartisan primary and all voters vote on all candidates. The four candidates with the most votes for each office would advance to the general election. Candidates could list any affiliation on the ballot, but would not represent political parties and would not be required to be affiliated with the party they nominate.

Second, the measure would require ranked-choice voting for the general election. Under current law, voters can select one candidate for each office, and the candidate with the most votes wins. Instead, ranked-choice voting would require voting for each candidate on the ballot in order of preference. Votes would be counted in successive rounds for each preference order. The candidate with the fewest votes in each round would be eliminated, and votes for that candidate in later rounds would not be counted. The candidate with the most votes in the final round would win.

The Foreign Ministry is collecting arguments for and against the initiative here, but only until July 20, 11:59 p.m.

Voters in Idaho will receive a brochure with the text of the measure and selected arguments for and against it before the general election. More information on the initiative process can be found here.

By Everly