Write-in candidates for this year’s elections may need to get their paperwork in early. The Senate State Affairs Committee Wednesday approved a proposal to require write-in candidates to file their declaration of intent 28 days before an election, rather than the current 14-day deadline. On Monday, the committee held the proposal in committee. County clerks and the Idaho secretary of state support the earlier deadline, which would give clerks more time to check ballots and prevent mistakes.
“Apparently there were concerns by particularly the larger counties of the state that that represented a significant cost savings to them,” said Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston. On Monday, Stegner had said he was concerned that the 28-day deadline would limit the ability of citizens to run for office. Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, said he’s heard from clerks in Canyon County that they would like the extra time.