Idahoans for Open Primaries says it has enough signatures to put the issue on the November ballot

If the signatures pass muster, voters will decide on opening primaries and ranked choice voting in November.
Posted at 7:50 AM, Apr 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-30 13:16:53-04

BOISE — Idahoans for Open Primaries says it has more than enough signatures to get open primaries and ranked choice voting on the November ballot.

  • Group says closed primary system in Idaho excludes 270 thousand people who consider themselves Independents.
  • Signatures for ballot initiative will be delivered to local clerks on Wednesday.
  • Final count will be at the Secretary of State's office in July.
  • Group got 2000 extra signatures it says over the last weekend.
  • Group says 63 thousand signatures are required and they claim to have more than 90 thousand in hand.

(Verbatim of story that aired is below)

Idahoans for open primaries and ranked choice voting says it has way more signatures than it needs to get its initiative on the ballot in November. But their work is only half done. I’m senior reporter Roland Beres. Now it not only needs voters to approve it, but has to get past the Attorney General Raul Labrador who has indicated he may sue to stop it.

If Luke Mayville has his numbers right….
“We’re now clear over 90 thousand signatures”

It looks like the open primaries initiative along with ranked choice voting will be on the statewide ballot in November.

“We had an extraordinary weekend with a whole lot of volunteers in 20 locations all across the state.” said Mayville.

Completing a statewide citizen initiative is no easy task. It requires 63 thousand signatures as well as 6 percent of voters in 18 districts.

And Mayville says his group got that much in 20 districts. …numbers that will officially be checked on May first.

“It’s not about political parties this initiative doesn’t give more power to one party or the other, it’s really about giving power to the voters.” said Mayville.

Right now, Idaho has closed primaries meaning you must be registered in the party you plan to vote in.

But open primary supporters say that excludes 270 thousand Idahoans who consider themselves independent.

So, how does a long-time Idahoan feel about the open primaries initiative?

“I’ve only been here 89 years and my problem is that there’s no place in the constitution no place in bill of rights that talks about a political party so why does a political party all of u sudden have control over everybody,” said Dale Tankersley, who supports the initiative.

Tankersly told me he approves of the possible changes.

But attorney General Raul Labrador has threatened to sue to stop it.

Something Mayville says he is ready for.

“We are 100 percent confident that we would prevail,“ said Mayville.

Meanwhile, there are plenty who don’t like the idea. Some say it’s the ranked choice voting they’re most opposed to.

Voters like John Griffin say the state needs to leave things alone.

“WHAT WILL BE THE END RESULT? Based on what I’m seeing nationwide I think you’ll see a lot of confusion,” Griffin who is against the initiative.

If voters approve the initiative, Mayville says the fight won’t be over.

“The entire goal is to defend the initiative in the legislature and make sure it gets smoothly implemented,” said Mayville.

But that’s still a long way off, and something every voter will have their own say on.
Once district clerks have approved the signatures, they will be delivered en mass to the Secretary of State in July for final approval to put the initiative on the ballot. If they have enough. In Boise sr. repot. Roland Beres Idaho news six.