Idaho Dispatch

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Gov. Little Signs HB 1 Which Ensures In-Person Voting, Even During a State of Emergency

By • September 4, 2020

The May primary was an all “mail-in” primary which meant Idahoans were not able to vote in person.

Some Idahoans were happy with the mail-in voting process and others were not. Many districts in Idaho did see a record number of votes cast as a result of the all mail-in system.

However, some Idahoans want in-person voting this November and are concerned with voter fraud in regards to mail-in voting.

For that reason, Rep. Priscilla Giddings (Republican – District 7) brought forward House Bill 1 which ensures that all voters will have somewhere to vote in person even if there is a “state of emergency” in place.

Governor Little signed HB 1 into law earlier this week and that means that this November there will be in-person voting no matter what.

The bill passed through the Idaho House easily with no dissenting votes. The bill also passed easily through the Idaho Senate with only two dissenting votes.

We spoke with Rep. Giddings about HB 1 and why she decided to bring it forward.

She told Idaho Dispatch,

This bill was a citizen-driven bill. Just before the start of Idaho’s extraordinary session, I talked to a number of citizens that were very concerned they would not be able to vote in person this November. It was one of the biggest concerns they had and asked if there was something that could be done. When I learned that the Speaker would allow other issues to be considered I went to work on House Bill 1.

I am pleased with the overwhelming support that citizens had for the bill. I am also grateful that it didn’t turn into a situation where special interest groups got involved and muddied the waters. Although I wonder why some of them didn’t come out and support the effort to pass the bill. In the end, I am grateful for the legislators who supported HB 1 and glad that Gov. Little signed the bill. Citizens have to know that their vote is going to count and that the option to vote in person must always be available to them, even during an emergency.

We did send messages to both Senator Buckner-Webb and Senator Jordan for comment on their opposition to the bill. Senator Buckner-Webb has not yet responded.

Senator Jordan sent us this message about her opposition to House Bill 1,

I voted against the bill because I found the language “notwithstanding any emergency” to be too restrictive. A severe emergency, such as a major flood, could make it nearly impossible to comply. I did not think that it was necessary legislation.

Are you happy House Bill 1 has become law or do you think the bill was unnecessary?

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Tags: Elections, Governor Little, House Bill 1, Priscilla Giddings, Voting

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