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Stricter voter affiliation bill narrowly passes Idaho House

Idaho primary saw spike in voter participation
Posted at 4:58 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 18:59:48-05

BOISE, Idaho — A bill that would require unaffiliated voters to join a political party earlier in the year if they want to vote in the primary narrowly passed the Idaho House on Monday after lively debate.

The bill from Rep. Doug Okuniewicz, a Republican from Hayden, would require Idaho’s roughly 310,000 unaffiliated voters to join a political party before the candidate filing period closes if they want to vote in a closed primary election. Current state law allows unaffiliated voters to make that decision at the polling place on Election Day.

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But opponents on both sides of the aisle said the bill could block some voters who have legitimate reasons for staying unaffiliated.