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Idahoans for Open Primaries initiative qualifies for November ballot | Idaho
Idahoans for Open Primaries initiative qualifies for November ballot | Idaho

BOISE – The Idaho Secretary of State’s Office today announced that the Idahoans for Open Primaries initiative will appear on the ballot for the November 5, 2024 general election. This initiative aims to introduce significant changes in the way elections are conducted in Idaho.

Initiative Certification

The initiative met the requirements by collecting 62,895 valid signatures, representing 6 percent of all registered voters in the last general election. Those signatures also had to be distributed across at least 18 precincts, with at least 6 percent of registered voters from each precinct. Idaho county clerk’s offices verified the signatures before they were submitted to the Secretary of State’s office for final acceptance and review.

Proposed changes

The initiative proposes two major changes:

1. Abolition of party primaries: Currently, political parties nominate their candidates in primaries. The initiative would replace that with a non-partisan primary in which all candidates can participate and all voters can vote for any candidate. The four candidates with the most votes for each office would advance to the general election. Candidates can declare any affiliation on the ballot, but will not officially represent any political parties.

2. Ranked voting: In the general election, voters would rank the candidates according to their preference. Votes would be counted in successive rounds, with the candidate with the fewest votes eliminated in each round. This process continues until one candidate receives a majority of votes in the final round.

Public participation

Arguments for and against the initiative may be submitted to the Secretary of State’s office no later than July 20, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time. Arguments may be submitted via an online form at https://forms.sos.idaho.gov/pro-con/.

Voters in Idaho will receive a voter pamphlet with the text of the initiative and selected pro and con arguments before the general election. For more information on the initiative process, visit https://voteidaho.gov/initiatives-amendments/.

By Everly