The Idaho Legislature recently introduced several bills aimed at restricting Idahoans’ voting rights. These bills would impose stricter voter-ID requirements, purge voters off voting rolls and make the ballot initiative process one of the strictest in the nation.
The voting restriction bills come after an unprecedented voter turnout in Idaho’s 2020 General Election.
A new report by the Brennan Center, a nonpartisan policy think tank, found that 33 states have introduced 165 voting restriction bills. This report was released before the introduction of several voting restriction bills in the Idaho Legislature. HB 255 would significantly change voter-ID requirements – causing significant confusion among voters and costing Idaho taxpayers $2 million. If passed, students would no longer be able to use a school ID to vote. Idahoans without a driver’s license would have to request a photo ID from the state, which would put a strain on the already-overwhelmed Idaho DMV. The bill would create lower standards for expelling a voter from the electorate: if an absentee ballot is requested and the addresses do not match, the voter is expelled. Also, if there is a mistake in the elector’s name, or a middle name is omitted, the voter could be expelled. Full bill text here.
- SB 1110 would make it nearly impossible for everyday Idahoans to get an initiative on the ballot. This bill would make Idaho’s ballot initiative process one of the strictest in the nation and make it so only wealthy special interests could access the constitutional right. This bill passed the Senate on March 1, 2021 and now heads to the House. Full bill text here.
- HB223 would make it a felony to have more than six ballots in your possession. This bill makes it a crime to help your fellow neighbor in casting their vote. This bill would target working-class and rural Idahoans. Full bill text here.
- HB 0244 would prohibit college and university professors from offering extra credit to students to vote. Full bill text here.