Idaho House Votes to Move Primaries to March
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho House has endorsed a $2 million proposal to move presidential primary elections to March, despite facing staunch opposition from lawmakers objecting to taxpayers carrying the cost to conduct political party events.
House lawmakers voted 50-19 on Tuesday, with the entire chamber's Democrats voting against along with three Republicans. The measure now heads to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. Supporters argued that the bill will increase Idaho's profile in the 2016 presidential primary by moving up the election date.
States often vie for the limelight during presidential primaries, attempting to pre-empt the early states and to collect more campaign spending that comes with having an early primary voting date. However, the Idaho GOP primary elections are closed to non-registered Republicans. This led Democratic House members to argue that the bill is forcing taxpayers to fund a closed election.