FAQ’s Closed Primary and Party Affiliation

Here are some of the questions that we have received on the new election laws in our State.

Do I have to re-register to vote? No, you are still registered you simply need to print, fill out, and send to your county clerk a  party affiliation form [http://www.idahovotes.gov/VoterReg/affiliation_form.pdf].

Will my party affiliation and my ballot choice be public record? Yes, we will know what party a voter has registered with and what ballot they vote on in the primary – both will be public record.

Could someone partcipate in both a Republican and Democratic caucus? In theory, yes. – A registered republican can participate in both caucuses.  This has always been possible. We will not be checking party affiliation at the door.  We will be asking them to sign a pledge and let them know that we may or may not publish their names in the paper as a participant.  The likelihood of R’s participating in ours is slim and if they do I don’t think they would change any outcomes.  The caucuses are party run events I personally think the R’s are hurting themselves as far as limiting participation to only “registered” Republicans.

What will 200K requested from the Secretary of State’s office be spent on?  The money will be spent in a non-partisan way on voter education – “What does party affiliation mean to you?” – we will not have a say however know Ben Ysursa he will make sure it is non-partisan.

Why would I want to register as a Democrat if I only have Republican’s running in my county? It is a dis-service to everyone if we fail to highlight the consequences of their actions by crossing over to create change in their party. We must declare ourselves as Democrats and work for change in our own party by finding candidates that will take on the extremists that come out of their closed primary elections.

Can Republicans vote in the Democratic primary? Yes, the Idaho Democratic State Central Committee voted to keep our primary open which means that anyone can choose a Democratic ballot. Democrats, Republicans, Constitutionalists, Libertarians and unaffiliated are all welcome.

What happens if I don’t affiliate before primary elections day? If a voter has not signed the Party Affiliation Declaration Form before election day, they will be asked by the Poll book Clerk with which party they want to affiliate, and that will be circled in the poll book.  Then, they will sign the poll book as usual.  No form!  They will then be asked on which party’s ballot they want to vote.  Only if they have affiliated with the Republican Party, can they take a Republican ballot.  However, anyone can ask for a Democratic ballot.

Will I be able to vote for President during the Primary? Since both Republicans and Democrats choose their delegates to State Conventions in Caucuses, there will not be a Presidential Preference Primary on the May 15 ballot.


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Comments (2)

I seldom leave a response, however I browsed a few comments
here FAQ’s Closed Primary and Party Affiliation

I have a tripped planned for the 10th of March so I will be out of town for this year’s presidential caucus. The fact their is no absentee voting process is outrageous. Why can’t everyone… working, disabled, elderly, have a fair opportunity to vote? The Idaho caucus system needs to be shelved and we need to go to a a more modern and accessible primary.

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