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Responsive Gov’s Grade TL;DR

During the 2023 session, the Idaho Legislature continued to push for stricter anti-voter measures. Proposed legislation ranged from stricter voter ID laws to the repeal of no-excuse absentee voting and same day registration, the latter of which would have lost the state its current exemption from the National Voter Registration Act. Although not all of these measures became law, the Legislature did enact stricter ID and residency requirements and further restricted the use of private funds in elections. Because of these additional restrictions, Idaho received a D on this year’s progress report.

Looking Back

Where Idaho Started at the Beginning of 2023

  • 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 2022, we considered the state a middle tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2023 activity against other middle tier states.

How Our Tier Compares

  • COVI (2022): 28th
  • EPI Score (2020): 30th
  • CLC State Scorecard (2022): 7/10
  • MAP Democracy Rating (2022): FAIR

2023: This Past Year

Legislative Action

Although the Idaho Legislature managed to avoid passing some of the most significant anti-voter legislation that was proposed, it did further tighten voter ID and registration requirements.

  • H 340 establishes new stricter ID and residency requirements for voters.
  • H 239 allows a voter that reasonably believed they were a U.S. citizen at the time they voted to use that as a defense against a charge of voting when not qualified due to lack of U.S. citizenship.
  • H 124 eliminates student IDs as a valid source of voter ID. This law is currently being challenged in court.
  • H 11 extends the existing ban on the use of private funds in elections to clarify that all elected officials and state of Idaho employees are prohibited from accepting private funds for election administration.