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Top Four Nonpartisan Primary Initiative in Idaho Surpasses 84,000 Signatures

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Created: 17 April, 2024
Updated: 22 April, 2024
1 min read

Photo Credit: Element5 Digital on Unsplash

 

An initiative that would open the taxpayer-funded electoral process in Idaho to all voters has more than 84,000 signatures, according to the group spearheading the initiative, Idahoans for Open Primaries. 

BYU-Idaho Radio was the first to report that as of April 16, Idahoans for Open Primaries has gathered 84,472 signatures, which the groups believes will be enough to get its initiative on the ballot in November.

The initiative would change Idaho elections in two significant ways: 

1. It would adopt a nonpartisan primary system in which all voters and candidates, regardless of party, participate on a single primary ballot. The top 4 vote-getters in each race would move on the general election.

2. It would implement ranked choice voting in general elections to ensure that the winner among the 4 candidates on the ballot would win with a majority, rather than a simple plurality (meaning less than 50%). 

The new electoral model has already been adopted in Alaska, where voters have responded positively to the change. Overall, most voters feel they have more choice, their vote matters more, and the system is fairer to all voters. 

If put on the ballot and approved by voters, Idaho would be the second state in the US to adopt what is colloquially called the "Final Four" electoral model. It would also mean equal voting rights for 270,000 independent voters.

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Idahoans for Open Primaries needs valid signatures from 6% of Idaho's registered voting population, including 6% of registered voters in 18 of the state's 35 legislative districts. 

This amounts to about 63,000 total signatures. Gathering more than 84,000 signatures offers Idahoans for Open Primaries the right amount of cushion these types of campaigns need in case some signatures are discarded.

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