Bill Description: House Bill 761 requires electors to present valid identification and proof of United States citizenship when voting at the polls; it also establishes the election integrity fund.
Amendment Note: House Bill 761 is materially similar to House Bill 692, introduced earlier this session. This HB 761 revises additional sections of Idaho Code for consistency with the key statutory changes this legislation would make. The revisions do not change the rating or the analysis.
Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency, accountability, or election integrity?
House Bill 761 has three key provisions. The first requires electors to be citizens of the United States and clarifies what qualifies as valid documents for proof of citizenship, residency, and identity. Under this bill, any attempt to document citizenship, residency and identity must include a photo ID. A person attempting to register to vote through a mail-in form must include a driver’s license number and applicable documents to verify a residential address. These provisions ensure that electors are who they claim to be and reside in the district holding the election they want to vote in. This improves election integrity by preventing manipulation of the vote at the booth.
The second provision is that it removes student ID cards from the list of documents a person may use to document citizenship and residency in the state. This eliminates a loophole for out-of-staters to register to vote in Idaho by virtue of residing in the Gem State as students, while maintaining a permanent resident elsewhere.
Finally, HB 761 repeals the provision in Section 34-1106 of Idaho Code that allows electors to sign a personal identification affidavit as a substitute for a photo identification card. Repealing this section of Idaho Code ensures requires electors to present photo identification and ensures that poll workers can confirm their true identity at the time the vote is cast.
Overall, this bill improves election integrity and upholds the one person – one vote principle.
Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government?
This bill creates a new government program called the Election Integrity Fund. This fund will request an annual appropriation of $200,000 to provide free government-issued identification for those who do not have any form of identification, which would prevent them from voting. It should be noted that those who would qualify for free identification cards would otherwise be qualified to vote.
This measure creates a new entitlement program at the cost of taxpayers, expanding the government.
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