Idaho Democrats want to make voting more accessible. But already, one of their ideas has hit a hurdle. Democrats unveiled a package of five bills Tuesday, Jan. 29, as part of the Voting Opportunity and Trustworthy Elections Initiative. But one of the bills was voted down during its print hearing just minutes before the press conference. Senate Assistant Minority Leader Elliot Werk, D-Boise, said voter feedback during the campaign season spurred the caucus to put together the legislation, aimed at increasing voter accessibility and participation. The five bills in the act address online voter registration, polling places and costs associated with closed primaries.
Shortly after the press conference started, Rep. Holli Woodings, D-Boise, said the House State Affairs Committee voted to return one of the five bills to the sponsors. That bill, the Voter Convenience Act, would require counties to set up at least one full-service polling place in a population center where every county resident could vote on election day, regardless of precinct. According to Woodings, others on the committee were concerned about ballot security and voter fraud with multiple polling places. Three of the other bills passed their print hearings last week; the fifth has been referred to the House State Affairs Committee.
Werk acknowledged that part of the legislation would mean increased costs for counties, with some having to shell out more than others. But, he said, the goal is to increase voter participation. “We certainly don’t see these as partisan issues,” Werk said. “These bills are commonplace in other states. They’re workable.”
Full Article: Dems Launch Push to Improve Voting Access.