House Bill 219 — Voter identification, registration

House Bill 219 — Voter identification, registration

by
Parrish Miller
February 23, 2021

Bill Description: House Bill 219 improves the security of Idaho elections by taking steps to reduce voter fraud. It also establishes a system of subsidized ID cards for voters without a driver's license. 

Rating: +2

Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?

House Bill 219 amends Section 34-408A, Idaho Code, to require that a voter show a current Idaho driver's license or Idaho ID card. No longer will student ID cards and other insecure forms of identification be considered sufficient proof of identity for voting purposes.

The bill still allows the use of an outdated Idaho driver's license or Idaho ID card with a prior address if presented with a copy of "a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter."

(+1)

House Bill 219 leaves in place the process by which a voter may complete an affidavit in lieu of showing a current Idaho driver's license or Idaho ID card, but it does make the process more secure. The bill amends Section 34-1113, Idaho Code, to make two changes to the existing process. First, those who complete an affidavit in lieu of showing a current Idaho driver's license or Idaho ID card will have their photo taken at the poll and the photo will be attached to the signed affidavit. Second, the Secretary of State will be required to "conduct a random audit of such affidavits, including at least one (1) affidavit from each county in which at least one (1) affidavit was signed, to determine the validity of the voter's identity." Any evidence of voter fraud found in this audit shall be referred by the Secretary of State to the county prosecuting attorney or attorney general for prosecution.

(+1)

House Bill 219 amends Section 34-411, Idaho Code, to require the Secretary of State to "establish a process by which county clerks ensure that a new, accurate registration is submitted no later than the November 2024 general election for any elector whose full legal name in the voter registration records does not match the elector's name" on a current Idaho driver's license or Idaho ID card.

This process will increase the number of voter registrations that are crosschecked and verified in the state of Idaho. 

(+1)

Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

House Bill 219 amends Section 49-2444, Idaho Code, to say that the Department of Transportation "shall issue a four (4) year identification card, free of charge, to any person who does not possess a valid Idaho driver's license, is a citizen of the United States, is a qualified elector of the state of Idaho, and who requires an identification card in order to register to vote.”

While the ID cards may be provided at no cost to the person receiving them, the cost of this new entitlement could be more than $2 million if all of the approximately 200,000 registered voters without a state-issued photo ID number on file opted to seek a subsidized Idaho ID card.

(-1)

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