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Sign initiative petition at farmers market

| September 7, 2023 1:00 AM

Come to Bonners Ferry Farmers Market at the city parking lot the next two Saturdays — Sept. 9 and Sept. 16, 9:30-11:30 a.m. for information about the Open Primary initiative — or to sign the petition carried by volunteers.

Reclaim Idaho volunteers need to collect the signatures of more than 65,000 registered voters from all over Idaho before May 2024 in order to get this initiative onto the ballot for the 2024 election. Assuming enough valid signatures are obtained, then all Idaho voters will later have a chance to vote on the initiative. It then goes into law if over 50% of voters vote yes.

The initiative would replace separate party primaries with one all-inclusive primary, with Republicans, Democrats, independents, etc. all together. Each registered voter casts one vote, then the votes are counted, and the top four go on to the general election. The general election uses ranked voting, which is being successfully used in Alaska and 21 cities in Utah.

The advantages of Open Primary:

• Reduces the power that special interest groups, small caucus turnouts, and party bosses now have in selecting primary candidates. Now, only a few people are selecting many of our candidates, who then feel indebted to their big-money donors. An open primary makes the candidates accountable only to the grassroots voters.

• Enable over a quarter million disenfranchised independent voters to easily vote in an open primary.

• Allows the normal "I-vote-a-straight-party-ticket" voter to sometimes vote for a talented candidate from a different party, resulting in well-qualified officials with a wide approval base.

As a note, I am a registered Republican.

JO LEN EVERHART

Bonners Ferry