In week two of this year’s Idaho legislative session, Representative Caroline Nilsson-Troy introduced bill H439, which would have made drastic changes to Idaho’s primary election process, shutting out thousands of voters. The bill would have changed the registration deadline for unaffiliated voters to register with a specific party well before Idaho’s primary election. Currently, unaffiliated voters have until Election Day to register, which means they have time to weigh each candidate and vote based on their values – not by their party.
Conservation Voters for Idaho responded quickly to oppose this bill, which would have prevented nearly 30% of Idaho voters from participating in one of Idaho’s most important elections.
Our Voter Outreach team reached out to over 2,000 Idahoans in Rep. Nilsson-Troy’s district to inform them of this bill and how it would impact their right to vote and then connect them to the Representative’s office so they could share their concerns.
Thanks to voters from all backgrounds and interests, Rep. Nilsson-Troy heard clear as day that H439 was not in the best interest of Idahoans. Nearly one third of Idahoans vote based on their values and which candidate will be the best option for their community, weighing the options all the way to the polls. One voter we contacted, a poll-worker named Diana, shared that she sees party declaration happen regularly the day of.
This bill would have shut out these voters, forcing them to choose party over values well before one of Idaho’s most important elections. Diana was one of many voters we put in contact with Rep. Nilsson-Troy to defend our democratic rights.
We must be able to choose our representatives, not the other way around. Any restrictions to voter access to the polls is an attack on Idahoans’ rights and democratic values.
We applaud Rep. Nilsson-Troy for recognizing and responding to her constituents’ concerns by withdrawing the bill.