Thursday, March 1, 2012

Idaho House Bill to Eliminate Presidential Primary Passes State Senate

Idaho House bill H 391 has passed the state Senate, and as of yesterday, has moved on to Governor Butch Otter (R) for his consideration. The bill, in light of the Idaho Republican Party decision late last year to abandon the primary in favor of an earlier caucus for the purpose of allocating delegates, eliminates the presidential primary line from the May primary ballot. Idaho Democrats have traditionally utilized a caucus process separate from the primary and with the Republican Party following suit for 2012, the presidential preference portion of the ballot became superfluous (especially considering it would fall well after the delegate selection process began in both parties).

The bill carries no limited financial savings and is more of a technical redefinition of the election laws that detail the nomination process in the Gem state. The expectation is that the bill will be signed, but the two chambers of the legislature cast decidedly different votes on the measure; sending mixed signals. The House passed the legislation by a nearly 5:1 margin while the Senate required a tie-breaking vote from the president of the Senate for it to pass there.

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