Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Initiative drive is good news for voters

| August 17, 2023 1:00 AM

On Friday, Aug. 18, Luke Mayville, head of non-partisan Reclaim Idaho, will be in Bonners Ferry to kick off the initiative petition drive to give all Idaho voters the freedom to vote in one open primary that combines all parties and independent candidates. Currently, a quarter million independent voters are unable to vote in a closed-party primary. Many signatures from a majority of the districts are required to get this initiative onto the 2024 general election ballot; once on this ballot, a majority of the voters need to approve, and then it becomes law.

Luke, a dynamic speaker, will start these drives in Bonners Ferry on Friday, followed by Sandpoint on Saturday, continuing south for all of Idaho. Earlier, Reclaim Idaho drives brought both Medicaid expansion and the education initiative, which triggered a compromise, bringing much-needed dollars into our schools.

Those two groups benefited from Reclaim Idaho drives. But this drive will benefit all Idahoans. Not only will every voter have freedom to choose between all of the primary candidates, but the candidates themselves will be more accountable to regular voters instead of loyalty to special interest groups with out-of-state money — or loyalty to party bosses who can withhold favors.

Also, whether Republican or Democrat, you probably have run into this problem: on the primary election day, you are happy choosing between most names except for one office, where you don't like any candidate but you know an excellent candidate from another party but you can't vote for him. In one open primary with all candidates, an excellent individual with wide appeal to all sides could get over 50% of the total vote.

Those interested in improving elections are invited to home of Rob/Clarice McKenney, 6449 Baxter (near the city pool), on Friday, Aug. 18, at 6 p.m., social time 5:30 p.m. For questions, call 208-610-2301.

Luke will:

1) Explain open primary or ranked voting. Alaska and many Utah cities are already on this system, with high voter approval.

2) Explain signature gathering.

3) Answer as many written questions as possible.

4) For those interested, go out in teams to practice signature gathering.


Bonners Ferry

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