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NIVS aims to help voters sort through candidates, issues

| February 22, 2022 1:00 AM

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A new nonprofit is aiming to provide North Idaho voters with help sorting through candidates and issues as well as navigating convenient ways to vote.

Originally formed to conduct voter research, North Idaho Voter Services, Inc has turned its focus to electing qualified candidates through voter participation and trustworthy information.

“In the last few decades our political arena has become extremely toxic,” said Diana Dawson, founding director of the is a 501(c)4 organization. “In the past North Idaho citizens could generally count on candidates who ran because they were interested in serving and cared about their communities. Not anymore.”

More and more, Dawson said elections are determined by a minority of well-organized candidates with extreme agendas and who are comfortable using rhetoric and misinformation. They are, she added, determined to win at any cost — all without regard to the wellbeing of the region’s communities.

“We have seen this everywhere: public and higher education, medicine, libraries, and our government on all levels,” Dawson said.

That disruption by the far right motivated the group of concerned citizens to commission a comprehensive research project to better understand what the region’s voters really want, Dawson said. The results matched common sense with the research showing North Idaho voters want qualified candidates who find community solutions and focus on jobs, education and efficient government. They do not want time wasted on fringe issues and they do want Idaho civility, she added.

“We now know what voters want and our focus at North Idaho Voter Services is to help the voters elect the candidates that will serve them and serve our communities, “Dawson said. “Voters are busy and we hope to offer them motivation and convenience so they will vote.”

In the past few years, NIVS has developed a well-organized team. Directors are a group of dedicated citizens who have raised families, built businesses, and served on community boards, Dawson said.

Not only have they made and continue to make deep contributions to the well-being of the region’s communities, the group’s directors said the region’s quality of life is enhanced by good education, medical services, and qualified leadership from our public servants.

Current directors are Jack Parker, Jim Frank, Dan McLaughlin, Barbara Schriber, Bob Boeh, and founder Diana Dawson. A wide range of advisors from North Idaho round out the NIVS team.

North Idaho Voter Services, Inc serves Legislative District 1 and Bonner and Boundary counties.