Bill Description: Senate Bill 1061 as amended in the House makes some minor changes to election law and eliminates the August election date in Idaho.
Analyst Note: Senate Bill 106 originally just made some minor changes to election law, and it was not rated. A House Amendment made an additional change that eliminated the August election date in Idaho, used exclusively by community colleges and school districts for bond and levy elections. This is essentially the same change as made by House Bill 106, which was passed by the House on February 15, 2021, and has since been ignored by the Senate. As House Bill 106 was originally rated, that rating now carries over.
Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability?
Senate Bill 1061 (as amended in the House) amends Section 34-106, Idaho Code, to remove references to an August election day held on "the last Tuesday in August of each year." Reducing the number of days on which an election can be held could save counties some money. But the greatest benefit of removing this little-known election date is increased transparency. The only elections typically held on this election date are tax levy elections for school districts, and turnout is nearly always abysmally low.
The benefit of this change could be enhanced by also eliminating the March election date for tax levy questions, which has similar issues in years lacking a competitive presidential primary.
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