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Bill would take voice away from rural areas

| February 23, 2021 1:00 AM

Senator Steve Vick dropped an enormous pile of political bovine excrement at the feet of Idaho voters. He hopes we won’t notice.

SB 1110 will put further restrictions on the rights of Idaho voters to use the initiative and referendum process. He is playing the rural-versus-urban card. Senator Vick claims that rural voters don't have a voice in the initiative process. He is absolutely wrong.

The initiative process does two things. One is that, if successful, an issue is put on the ballot for Idaho voters to decide. The other is that going through the initiative process makes all Idahoans aware of the issue. It’s this second piece that is important as Idaho’s Constitution states, “All political power is inherent in the people.”  

Idaho’s current law works. Senate Bill 1110 will make it more difficult for rural Idahoans to exercise their political power. In order for an initiative to get on the ballot, we would need more signatures from more counties. Rural voters would have less opportunity to have our voices heard. It would be more difficult for rural counties to get an initiative important to us such as rural medical clinics, airports, school funding, or growing hemp, on the ballot.

The initiative process is used to get an issue on the ballot so all of us can vote.  This is not about rural versus urban. What Senator Vick wants to do is deny us the opportunity to vote.

Please join me in opposing SB 1110.  

MARY OLLIE

Bonners Ferry