An obscure problem with Idaho election laws that caused a lawsuit and an abnormally heated election in Teton County may soon be solved by the Legislature. Having already been approved by the House, House Bill 13 was taken up Friday by the Senate State Affairs Committee. The committee unanimously recommended that the bill pass. The issue the bill addresses arose in the race between Teton County Sheriff Tony Liford and challenger Lindsey Moss. Liford was an incumbent Democrat. Moss, an investigator for the prosecutor’s office, had previously challenged Liford as a Republican, coming within a few dozen votes of ousting him. In 2016, Moss again challenged Liford, this time switching to the Democratic party in an effort to decide the race in the primary. But Liford wanted to fight it out in the general election, so he switched his affiliation to Republican the same day he filed his declaration of candidacy, which he filed on the last possible day.
But there was a hiccup: a section of state election law required incumbents to change their affiliation five days before filing their candidacy. After consulting with the Secretary of State’s Office, County Clerk Mary Lou Hansen made the decision to remove Liford’s name from the ballot.
That led to a court battle in which federal Judge Candy Dale ruled that Liford’s name should be put back on the ballot and accused the clerk and prosecutor of interpreting the law in a self-interested manner.
Billie Siddoway, the newly elected prosecutor of Teton County and daughter of Senate State Affairs Committee chairman Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, represented Liford in the case.
Full Article: Legislature to fix election problem | Post Register.