A modified closed-primary bill is back on the table in the Idaho legislature. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, thanks to a group called “The Common Interest”, the bill would allow “independents” to vote in either Democrat or Republican primaries.
This would appear to give us the status quo, with a few extra hoops for the Democrats to jump through. Since Democrats almost never have primary races in Idaho, they will simply register as independents and retain the ability to vote in either primary, depending on their party interests.
You doubt Democrats vote in Republican primaries? We have proof. Be sure to read this post as well. They have many compelling reasons to do so, and the large number of “moderate Republicans”, also known as RINO’s (Republicans in Name Only) in our legislature bears witness that they do. Remember the letter I have in my possession from the Blackfoot County Democrat chairman thanking her fellow Dem’s for defeating the more conservative Republican in the Republican Primary. She also wrote a letter to the editor of the Blackfoot paper instructing Democrats exactly how to vote in the Republican Primary.
And why would county clerks lobby heavily for vote-by-mail, a huge change in voting protocol, yet protest that requiring party registration and (partially) closed primaries will so inconvenience them that the change isn’t possible by the 2008 elections? These supposed public servants are nothing more than bureaucrats seeking to increase their power and lighten their workload, at the expense of our state constitution and the secret ballot.
And who is “The Common Interest”? Another group of Democrats seeking another “front” behind which they rally self-disenfranchised Idaho liberals. Every time this group is mentioned, the out-of-state academic credentials of the founder are touted. I remain unimpressed. So what?
Bottom line: the new bill really is no change from the status quo, which allows Democrats to vote in Republican primaries. It is merely window dressing that makes no substantive claim. And yes, you poor, overworked county clerks, it will make more work for you, without any of the promised benefits. So go ahead and protest this one, but prepare to open your arms to a real closed primary law.
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