Senate Bill 1270 — Uncontested city elections

Senate Bill 1270 — Uncontested city elections

Lindsay Atkinson
February 3, 2020
Lindsay Atkinson
February 3, 2020

Bill description: SB 1270 would establish that a city does not need to hold an election for a position for which there is only one candidate.

Rating: +1

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

Under Idaho law, there are currently two routes to become a candidate for a city election. Interested residents for positions like mayor or city councilor can either file for candidacy or file as a write-in candidate. 

If a resident files for candidacy, they have to do so by no “later than 5:00 p.m. on the ninth Friday, immediately preceding election day.” Write-in candidates have to declare their intent to be write-ins no “later than twenty-eight (28) days before the day of election.”

Sometimes, a candidate will run unopposed. This can occur in one of two circumstances:

  • There is only one candidate for a position, with no write-in candidate
  • There are no candidates for a position, and only one write-in candidate

SB 1270 would allow a city with an unopposed candidate or write-in at the time of the final write-in deadline to “declare such candidate elected” without holding an election. Thus the city would avoid the cost of running an election where there is only one option for voters.


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