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Initiative allows Idaho political independence

| September 5, 2023 1:00 AM

The Idahoans for Open Primaries initiative is finally out in the community for signatures, thanks to our Supreme Court taking a strong stand for clear and accurate language.

I have to say, I’m excited. Look, primaries everywhere aren’t particularly high turnout most of the time (we’re no exception). But if you do go to the trouble of voting in the Idaho primary, you can only vote in one party’s primary. And that’s the problem for me; I like political independence. I’ve voted across the spectrum in my political history, depending on who I thought would best represent my needs and interests.

If I find myself before a primary having to either lock myself into one party to vote for a candidate or lock myself into another party to vote against one, I start thinking that I’m not really able to exercise my right to choose my representation fully. Having everyone on one primary ballot is cheaper and more efficient, but it also means I get to choose from the full selection of candidates with the full set of information available to me. I like the sound of that. And if those candidates start having to appeal to everyone, not just the hardcore primary crowd from one part of one party? All the better.

This initiative is good for people like me who want more decision-making freedom in our state politics. I’ve already signed. If you’ve ever wished you weren’t boxed in at the ballot box, consider adding your own signature. (There's a petition at Vanderford's for anyone interested.)

HAL GATES

Sandpoint