Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1258
– Primary election/elector registratn
SENATE BILL NO. 1258
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S1258......................................................by STATE AFFAIRS
PRIMARY ELECTIONS - Amends existing law to revise procedures regarding
primary elections; to require voters to register with a political party or
as an independent; to revise primary election procedures; to revise
provisions relating to receipt of primary ballots; to revise registration
of electors; to provide for the designation or change of party status; to
revise primary ballots; to set forth eligibility to vote in primary
elections; to revise issuance of absentee ballots; and to appropriate
$800,000 to the Secretary of State.
01/11 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/14 Rpt prt - to St Aff
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-ninth Legislature Second Regular Session - 2008
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1258
BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO ELECTIONS; AMENDING SECTION 34-308, IDAHO CODE, TO REVISE THE
3 RECEIPT OF PRIMARY BALLOTS IN MAIL BALLOT PRECINCTS; AMENDING SECTION
4 34-404, IDAHO CODE, TO REVISE REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS; AMENDING SECTION
5 34-406, IDAHO CODE, TO REMOVE A REFERENCE TO MAIL REGISTRATION FORM, TO
6 REVISE A CODE REFERENCE AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CHANGES; AMENDING SECTION
7 34-411, IDAHO CODE, TO REVISE APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION AND TO MAKE A
8 TECHNICAL CORRECTION; AMENDING CHAPTER 4, TITLE 34, IDAHO CODE, BY THE
9 ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 34-411A, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE FOR THE DESIGNA-
10 TION OR CHANGE OF PARTY AFFILIATION STATUS; AMENDING SECTION 34-904, IDAHO
11 CODE, TO REVISE PRIMARY ELECTION BALLOTS; AMENDING CHAPTER 9, TITLE 34,
12 IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 34-904A, IDAHO CODE, TO SET
13 FORTH PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO THE ELIGIBILITY TO VOTE IN PRIMARY ELEC-
14 TIONS; AMENDING SECTION 34-1003, IDAHO CODE, TO REVISE THE ISSUANCE OF
15 ABSENTEE BALLOTS; APPROPRIATING MONEYS FROM THE GENERAL FUND TO THE SECRE-
16 TARY OF STATE; AND PROVIDING EFFECTIVE DATES.
17 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
18 SECTION 1. That Section 34-308, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
19 amended to read as follows:
20 34-308. MAIL BALLOT PRECINCT. A precinct within the county which contains
21 no more than one hundred twenty-five (125) registered electors at the last
22 general election, may be designated by the board of county commissioners a
23 mail ballot precinct no later than April 1 in an even-numbered year. Such a
24 designation shall apply thereafter to all elections conducted within the pre-
25 cinct until revoked by the board of county commissioners. Having designated a
26 mail ballot precinct, there shall be no voting place established within the
27 precinct. Elections in a mail ballot precinct shall be conducted in a manner
28 consistent with absentee voting with the following special provisions.
29 (1) The clerk shall issue a ballot, by mail, to every registered voter in
30 a mail ballot precinct, and shall affix to the return envelope, postage suffi-
31 cient to return the ballot.
32 (2) The ballot shall be mailed no sooner than twenty-four (24) days prior
33 to the election day and no later than the fourteenth day prior to the elec-
35 (3) The clerk shall make necessary provisions to segregate mail ballot
36 precinct ballots by precinct, and for all purposes of the election, the pre-
37 cinct integrity shall be maintained.
38 (4) The clerk shall make available in the office of the clerk, registra-
39 tion on election day for any individual who is eligible to vote and who
40 resides in a mail ballot precinct and has not previously registered. The clerk
41 shall provide an official polling place in the office of the clerk and a qual-
42 ified elector who registers on election day and resides in a mail ballot pre-
43 cinct shall be allowed to vote at the office of the clerk.
1 (5) Electors who have designated a political party affiliation pursuant
2 to section 34-404, Idaho Code, shall receive the primary ballot for that party
3 pursuant to section 34-904, Idaho Code, in addition to any nonpartisan ballot.
4 (6) An "independent" elector shall receive only the nonpartisan ballot.
5 SECTION 2. That Section 34-404, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
6 amended to read as follows:
7 34-404. REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS. (1) All electors must register before
8 being able to vote at any primary, general, special, school or any other elec-
9 tion governed by the provisions of title 34, Idaho Code. Registration of a
10 qualified person occurs when a legible, accurate and complete registration
11 card is received in the office of the county clerk or is received at the polls
12 pursuant to section 34-408A, Idaho Code.
13 (2) Each elector may select on the registration card an affiliation with
14 a political party qualified to participate in elections pursuant to section
15 34-501, Idaho Code, or may select to be designated as "independent." The
16 county clerk shall record the party affiliation or "independent" status so
17 selected as part of the elector's registration record. If an elector shall
18 fail or refuse to make such a selection, the county clerk shall enter on the
19 registration records that such an elector is an "independent."
20 (3) In order to provide an elector with the appropriate primary ballot,
21 pursuant to section 34-904A, Idaho Code, the poll book for primary elections
22 shall include the party affiliation or status as an "independent" elector for
23 each elector so registered.
24 (4) In order to provide electors who are already registered to vote as of
25 July 1, 2009, and who remain registered electors, with an opportunity to
26 select a party affiliation or to select their status as "independent," the
27 secretary of state shall cause a new registration card to be mailed to each
28 registered elector prior to September 1, 2009, which will allow each elector
29 to select the party affiliation of the elector's choice or to select his sta-
30 tus as "independent." The cost of the reregistration shall be borne by the
31 secretary of state. Any elector who does not return the new registration shall
32 be recorded by the county clerk as "independent."
33 SECTION 3. That Section 34-406, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
34 amended to read as follows:
35 34-406. APPOINTMENT OF REGISTRARS. (1) The county clerk shall provide for
36 voter registration in the clerk's office and may appoint registrars to assist
37 in voter registration throughout the county.
38 (2) The county clerk shall provide all political parties within the
39 county with a supply of the mail voter registration form prescribed in section
40 34-41 01, Idaho Code.
41 SECTION 4. That Section 34-411, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
42 amended to read as follows:
43 34-411. APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION -- CONTENTS. (1) Each elector who
44 requests registration shall supply the following information under oath or
46 (a) His fFull name and sex.
47 (b) His mMailing address, his residence address or any other necessary
48 information definitely locating his the elector's residence.
49 (c) The period of time preceding the date of registration during which he
1 the elector has resided in the state.
2 (d) Whether or not he the elector is a citizen.
3 (e) That he the elector is under no legal disqualifications to vote.
4 (f) The county and state where he the elector was previously registered,
5 if any.
6 (g) Date of birth.
7 (h) Current driver's license number or, in the absence of an Idaho dri-
8 ver's license, the last four (4) digits of the elector's social security
10 (i) Political party affiliation or selection of "independent" status.
11 (2) Any elector who shall supply any information under subsection (1) of
12 this section, knowing it to be false, is guilty of perjury.
13 (3) Each elector who requests registration may, at the elector's option,
14 supply the the elector's telephone number. If the telephone number is supplied
15 by the elector, the telephone number shall be available to the public.
16 SECTION 5. That Chapter 4, Title 34, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
17 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
18 ignated as Section 34-411A, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
19 34-411A. DESIGNATING OR CHANGING PARTY AFFILIATION. Any elector may des-
20 ignate or change such an elector's political party affiliation or status as an
21 "independent" elector by filing a signed form with the county clerk or the
22 poll worker on election day. The application form provided in section 34-1002,
23 Idaho Code, may also be used for this purpose.
24 SECTION 6. That Section 34-904, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
25 amended to read as follows:
26 34-904. PRIMARY ELECTION BALLOTS. (1) There shall be a single separate
27 primary election ballot on which the complete ticket of for each political
28 party upon which only its ticket shall be printed; however, a county may use a
29 separate ballot for the office of precinct committeeman. Each political ticket
30 shall be separated from the others by a perforated line that will enable the
31 elector to detach the ticket of the political party voted from those remain-
32 ing. All candidates who have filed their declarations of candidacy and are
33 subsequently certified shall be listed under the proper office titles on their
34 political party ticket. The secretary of state shall design the primary elec-
35 tion ballot to allow for write-in candidates under each office title.
36 (2) The office titles shall be listed in order beginning with the highest
37 federal office and ending with precinct offices. The secretary of state has
38 the discretion and authority to arrange the classifications of offices as pro-
39 vided by law.
40 (3) It is not necessary to print a primary ballot for a political party
41 which does not have candidates for more than half of the federal or statewide
42 offices on the ballot if no more than one (1) candidate files for nomination
43 by that party for any of the offices on the ballot. The secretary of state
44 shall certify that no primary election is necessary for that party if such is
45 the case and shall certify to the county clerk the names of candidates for
46 that party for the general election ballot only.
47 SECTION 7. That Chapter 9, Title 34, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
48 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
49 ignated as Section 34-904A, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
1 34-904A. ELIGIBILITY TO VOTE IN PRIMARY ELECTIONS. (1) An elector who has
2 designated a party affiliation shall be given only the primary election ballot
3 for the political party for which the elector is so registered in addition to
4 any nonpartisan ballot.
5 (2) An elector registered as "independent" shall be allowed to vote only
6 the nonpartisan ballot.
7 (3) Any elector wishing to change the elector's party affiliation or sta-
8 tus as an "independent" shall do so by completing the form prescribed in sec-
9 tion 34-411A, Idaho Code, and returning it to the poll worker. The poll worker
10 shall then record the new party affiliation in the election record and poll
11 book and the elector shall be allowed to vote the political party ballot so
13 SECTION 8. That Section 34-1003, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
14 amended to read as follows:
15 34-1003. ISSUANCE OF ABSENTEE BALLOT. (1) Upon receipt of an application
16 for an absent elector's ballot within the proper time, the county clerk
17 receiving it shall examine the records of his office to ascertain whether or
18 not such applicant is registered and lawfully entitled to vote as requested
19 and, if found to be so, he shall arrange for the applicant to vote by absent
20 elector's ballot.
21 (2) In the case of requests for primary ballots:
22 (a) An elector who has designated a political party affiliation shall
23 receive a primary ballot for that political party in addition to any non-
24 partisan ballot.
25 (b) An "independent" elector shall receive only a nonpartisan ballot.
26 (3) The absentee ballot may be delivered to the absent elector in the
27 office of the county clerk, by postage prepaid mail or by other appropriate
28 means, including use of a facsimile machine. A political party may supply a
29 witness to accompany the clerk in the personal delivery of an absentee ballot.
30 (4) If the political party desires to supply a witness it shall be the
31 duty of the political party to supply the names of such witnesses to the clerk
32 no later than forty-five (45) days prior to the election. The clerk shall
33 notify such witnesses of the date and approximate hour the clerk or deputy
34 clerk intends to deliver the ballot. A candidate for public office or a spouse
35 of a candidate for public office shall not be a witness in the personal deliv-
36 ery of absentee ballots.
37 (5) An elector physically unable to mark his own ballot may receive
38 assistance in marking such ballot from the officer delivering same or an
39 available person of his own choosing. In the event the election officer is
40 requested to render assistance in marking an absent elector's ballot, the
41 officer shall ascertain the desires of the elector and shall vote the
42 applicant's ballot accordingly. When such ballot is marked by an election
43 officer, the witnesses on hand shall be allowed to observe such marking. No
44 county clerk, deputy, or other person assisting a disabled voter shall attempt
45 to influence the vote of such elector in any manner.
46 SECTION 9. There is hereby appropriated to the Secretary of State from
47 the General Fund for the period July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2010, the sum
48 of $800,000 to implement the provisions of this act.
49 SECTION 10. Sections 1 through 8 of this act shall be in full force and
50 effect on and after July 1, 2009. Section 9 of this act shall be in full force
51 and effect on and after July 1, 2008.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This legislation amends Idaho's election law to provide for a
closed primary election. It provides for re-registration of all
electors in the state and enables each to select an affiliation
with a political party or to select an independent status. The
bill requires that voters would be allowed to vote only in the
primary election for the party in which they are registered.
Independent voters would be given the non-partisan ballot only on
which to vote.
The fiscal impact of the legislation on the General Fund would
Printing, mailing and return of new registration cards $352,000
Payment to counties to reduce cost of data entry $295,000
Voter Education $153,000
There is also a potential cost to counties of an additional
$500,000 for processing registration cards depending on the follow-
up required to get complete voter registration information.
Name: J. Kirk Sullivan, GOP Chairman
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE S 1258