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Grade TL;DR

Although numerous anti-voter measures died in the Idaho Legislature in 2021, two of them managed to become law — a private donation restriction for election funding and an absentee signature verification law that failed to include important cure provisions. Election law changes were minimal in 2022. Taking into account that Idaho could have seen much harsher anti-voter laws passed in 2022 combined with the anti-voter measures that became law in 2021, Idaho received a C- on this year’s progress report.

Looking Back

Where Idaho Started in 2020

  • Automatic Voter Registration: No
  • Online Voter Registration: DMV ID
  • Same-Day Registration: Yes
  • Restoration of Rights: Parole and/or Probation Disenfranchisement
  • Vote by Mail: Excuse-Only
  • Electronic Registration Information Center Member: No
  • Early Voting Opportunities: In-person Absentee
  • ID Requirements: ID Requested, but Not Required

Relying on the Cost of Voting Index for Idaho as of 2020, we considered the state a middle tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2021-22 activity against other middle tier states.

How Our Tier Compares:

  • COVI (2020): 18th
  • EPI Score (2020): 30th
  • CLC State Scorecard (2022): 7/10
  • MAP Democracy Rating (2022): FAIR

2021: Two Years Ago

Legislative Action

The Idaho Legislature introduced more than a dozen election-related bills during the 2021 session, most of which included anti-voter provisions. Although the Legislature was ultimately unable to implement some of its more radical anti-voter laws, it still managed to implement a few anti-voter provisions.

  • S 1168 prohibits local election officials from accepting any private donations of more than $100.
  • H 290 requires the secretary of state to establish instructions and standards for ballot signature verification and requires all county clerks to conduct signature verification on absentee ballots. Unfortunately, the bill lacks any cure provisions for voters that have their ballot rejected during the signature verification process.

2022: This Past Year

Legislative Action

During the 2022 session, the Idaho Legislature continued to push for harsher anti-voter laws. Proposed measures ranged from stricter voter ID laws and proof of citizenship requirements to the removal of same day registration, which would have lost the state its current exemption from the National Voter Registration Act. The Legislature was able to make a few small changes to election laws this year.

  • S 1351 requires the secretary of state, in conjunction with county clerks, to prepare an annual report for the Legislature on voter list maintenance.
  • S 1352 requires county clerks to investigate the voter registration record for any voter whose absentee ballot is returned as “undeliverable” to the clerk’s office.