Friday, February 10, 2012

Idaho Bill Eliminating Presidential Primary Passes House

The less extensive of two presidential primary bills passed the Idaho state House on Wednesday, February 8. H 391 found broad support in the chamber passing by a 56-12 margin. Both bills would eliminate the presidential primary line from the Gem state primary ballot, and that is the sole intent of H 391. The sister legislation (H 392) would also strike the presidential preference line from the primary ballot but would shift the remaining primaries for state and local office from May to August.

Idaho Democrats have traditionally held early caucuses in lieu of the state-funded primary in May. For the 2012 cycle, Idaho Republicans followed suit, abandoning the May presidential primary for a March caucus. With neither party utilizing the May primary as a means of allocating/binding delegates to the national conventions, the presidential primary option on the May ballot became unnecessary. That the Republican-controlled legislature is seemingly willing to eliminate the presidential primary signals something of a longer term commitment to the caucus process instead of a primary.

[NOTE: I'll try hard not to mention the fact that this would fly right in the face of supposed reforms. Oops.]

Hat tip to Richard Winger at Ballot Access News for passing the news along to FHQ.

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