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House Bill 319 — City officer elections

House Bill 319 — City officer elections

Parrish Miller
March 12, 2021

Bill Description: House Bill 319 consolidates city elections by requiring them to occur on the November election day in even-numbered years.

Rating: +1

Amendment Analysis: The lengthy amendment to House Bill 319 does not change the rating or substantively change the analysis.

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

House Bill 319 modifies several sections of Idaho Code to move city elections — including those for city officers, mayors, and municipal bonds and levies — to the November election day in even-numbered years.

There are several benefits of this change. The first (and most concrete) is that it saves money. A local government that consolidates its elections into fewer days spends less. . 

The second benefit is that voter turnout has historically been higher in even-year elections; moving elections to fewer days will likely mean that certain electoral questions are decided by more voters. A third potential and related benefit is that higher turnout for bond and levy elections gives more taxpayers the ability to weigh in on efforts to increase their taxes. Ideally, all bond and levy elections — regardless of source — would be limited to the November election day in even-numbered years.


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