Bill Description: House Bill 179 would protect the integrity of Idaho's elections by prohibiting county elections offices from using "ranked choice voting or instant runoff voting" to conduct elections.
Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency, accountability, or election integrity? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency, accountability, or election integrity?
House Bill 179 would create Section 34-903B, Idaho Code, to expressly forbid county election offices from using "ranked choice voting or instant runoff voting" to "conduct an election or nomination of any candidate in this state for any local government, statewide, or federal elective office."
It would also define "ranked choice voting or instant runoff voting" as "a method of casting and tabulating votes in which:
Voters rank candidates in order of preference;
Tabulation proceeds in rounds such that in each round either a candidate or candidates are elected or the last-place candidate is defeated;
Votes are transferred from elected or defeated candidates to the voters' next ranked candidate or candidates in order of preference; and
Tabulation ends when a candidate receives the majority of votes cast or the number of candidates elected equals the number of offices to be filled."
The bill further states that "any local government ordinance in conflict with this section is void."
While there are a host of reasons why ranked choice voting systems are controversial and problematic, the primary benefit of House Bill 179 is that it ensures a uniform and transparent election process throughout the state of Idaho.
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