Voters who once lived in Idaho but now reside overseas could soon be barred from casting ballots in local elections. The House State Affairs committee introduced legislation Wednesday that keeps former Idahoans who live abroad indefinitely from voting in city council or other municipal elections. Federal absentee laws would allow those citizens to vote in national elections. The bill would not bar military personnel from voting in local races.
Coeur d’Alene Republican Rep. Kathleen Sims says the goal is to prevent voter fraud. In a neck-and-neck 2009 city council race, at least four Canadians cast ballots. A lawsuit on that case was ultimately decided by the Idaho Supreme Court.
Sims introduced a similar bill last year to tighten standards for absentee ballots, but it bill died on the House floor.