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A Seat in the House

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Coming up on the fall ballot

As I write this article the primary election has just ended and several local and state elected positions were determined by this election. One could wonder if higher voter participation might have produced different results in this election, but one can only speculate. However, even though many elected positions were determined in this primary, the general election next November will be significant in that we will be electing the next Governor of Idaho, a federal senator and two members of the U.S. House of Representatives in addition to many state and local positions.  

There will also be three proposed constitutional amendments for the voters to decide on in the upcoming general election.These three constitutional amendments are being proposed by the legislature in response to a 2006 Idaho Supreme Court decision that “ addressed ‘the ordinary and necessary’ exception to voter approval of financing public debt’.The court’s decision created doubt on the ability of county and district hospitals, political subdivisions and airport authorities to incur debt without voter approval. It also created uncertainty on the legality of municipal power systems to enter into long-term power supply, transmission and other agreements with their power suppliers without the need for an authorizing election.   

House Joint Resolution 4 “amends Article VIII, Section 3C of the Idaho Constitution to clarify the ability of county and district hospitals to incur indebtedness without vote, provided that no ad valorem tax revenue is used for the indebtedness.

”House Joint Resolution 5 proposes an amendment that  “creates a new Section 3E to allow political subdivisions and regional airport authorities operating an airport to incur debt without voter approval, so long as the debt is payable solely from airport revenues and no tax funding is pledged or put at risk for the repayment.

”House Joint Resolution 7 “amends Article VIII of the constitution by adding a new section 3D to confirm the authority that a city owning a municipal power system may enter into long-term power supply, transmission and other agreements with the Bonneville Power Administration and other suppliers, without the need for an authorizing election.” It also allows the municipal to issue revenue bonds with the agreement of a majority of its electors to finance needed generation and transmission facilities to meet customer needs.

There will be additional information made available to the voters addressing these proposed constitutional amendments at the time of the general election to aid voters in determining whether these constitutional amendments should be implemented.Unlike other primary and general elections, including the primary election just ended, in the general election next November and subsequent elections, voters will be required to provide certain personal information at the polls when voting that has not been required in the past.  

House Bill 496 passed by the legislature this year and in effect on July 1 of this year requires that before receiving a ballot, each elector shall show a valid photo identification or personal affidavit before voting.  T

he personal identification may be: 1) an Idaho driver’s license or identification card issued by the Idaho Transportation Department; 2) a passport or an identification card, including a photograph, issued by an agency of the United States government; 3) a tribal identification card, including a photograph; or 4) a current student identification card, including a photograph, issued by a high school or an accredited institution of higher education, including a university, college or technical school, located within the state of Idaho.In the event a voter is not able to present the required personal identification “the voter may complete an affidavit in lieu of the personal identification. The affidavit shall be on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State and shall require the voter to provide the voter’s name and address.”

The voter will be required to sign the affidavit and if any person knowingly “provides false, erroneous or inaccurate information on such affidavit shall be guilty of a felony.”We have not had concrete evidence of voter fraud in Idaho; however many questions have surfaced in the past that raises concern and requiring a photo ID can help avoid a concern of voter fraud. It would seem that having to show an ID to vote would not be an imposition to voters to help preserve the integrity of the voting process.

We have to show a photo ID in numerous situations, including withdrawing money from a bank account or boarding an airplane, therefore presenting an ID during voting would not seem an unreasonable requirement in the interest of protecting the integrity of our election process. 

Thanks for reading! And as always I welcome your input on issues important to you. You can contact me at my home phone at (208) 265-0123 or by mail at P.O. Box 112, Dover, Idaho, 83825. George 

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Rep. George Eskridge Rep. George Eskridge the Republican Representative for District 1 in Idaho’s House, George Eskridge can be reached at 208-265-0123 or write PO Box 112, Dover, ID 83825

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Politics, constitutional amendments, voter id

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