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Idahoans for Open Primaries initiative to appear on November ballot

Idaho State Capitol Building
Posted at 4:17 PM, Jul 10, 2024

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Secretary of State's Office has announced that the Idahoans for Open Primaries initiative has met the statutory requirements to be voted on in November.

A letter of acceptance released on Wednesday, July 10 confirms that the initiative met the threshold of 62,895 signatures, six percent of the total registered voters from the last general election.

The Idaho Attorney General gave the initiative the official title of Measure to (1) replace voter selection of party nominees with non-party blanket primary; (2) require ranked-choice voting for general elections.

The Attorney General's office also presented the following summary for the initiative:
First, this measure would abolish Idaho's party primaries. Under current law, political parties nominate candidates through primary elections in which party members vote for a candidate to represent the party in the general election. The initiative would create a system where all candidates participate in a non-party blanket primary and all voters vote on all candidates. The top four vote-earners for each office would advance to the general election. Candidates could list any affiliation on the ballot, but would not represent political parties, and need not be associated with the party they name.

Second, the measure would require ranked-choice voting for the general election. Under current law, voters may select one candidate for each office, and the candidate with the most votes wins. Instead, ranked-choice voting would require voting for each candidate on the ballot in order of preference. The votes would be counted in successive rounds for each order of preference. The candidate with the fewest votes in each round would be eliminated, and votes for that candidate in later rounds would not be counted. The candidate with the most votes in the final round would win.

The Secretary of State's Office is collecting pro- and con- arguments regarding the initiative here, but only through 11:59 pm on July 20.

Idaho voters will receive a pamphlet before the general election containing the language of the measure and selected pro- and con- arguments. More information about the initiative process is available here.