Boise voter pamphlet contains incorrect information on library project

Posted at 5:21 PM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 19:24:43-04

BOISE, Idaho — A voters pamphlet mailed to every Boise household contains inaccurate information about a non-existent additional question.

The error occurred because the city was planning to ask voters if they supported the library project, but decided not to-- after the deadline for the pamphlet. The special question alluded to in the pamphlet was set forth by Council Member Elaine Clegg, and was going to be considered by the Boise City Council on Aug. 20. That is-- until Mayor Bieter announced they would not be pursuing a special election on the library after all.

Under the arguments for Prop 1, the pamphlet now inaccurately reads, "A question by Boise City Council allows allows voters to express directly their support or opposition to the Main Library Project."

No such question exists on the ballot.

"This is not a matter of opinion-- it's a matter of a factual error," said David Klinger, a spokesperson with Boise Working Together. He is concerned the error will confuse voters. "It's regrettable that this error was allowed to stand, when we identified it two months ago."

Craig Croner, Boise Senior Administrative Services Manager, said groups can submit statements to the city clerk’s office, which does not endorse or verify the statements, but that Idaho State Code does not allow the office to go back and change any of the wording at this point.

"Once those time periods [have] elapsed, you can't go back and make changes after that point. And so that's-- I think that's where there's a little bit of confusion. We don't determine errors or confusion, we just-- we are simply the facilitator of a process," said Croner in a phone interview.

The two ballot questions that are on the ballot include initiatives by Klinger's team-- a volunteer group of citizens called Boise Working Together. Proposition 1 asks voters if they wish to be able to vote on the main library project. Proposition 2 asks voters the same question about the proposed public-private sports stadium. These two questions earned their spot on the ballot by the roughly 7,000 petition signers who helped to qualify them.

As we previously reported, the questions that do exist on the ballot are not in direct regards to the projects themselves, but rather, are questions of whether there should be more oversight (in the form of an additional vote) on large city expenditures of this nature.