By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports
The House State Affairs Committee advanced a bill on Friday to repeal the section of law that allows Idaho voters to sign an affidavit at the polls.
The affidavit is an alternative to showing proof of identification. If signed, it is done under penalty of perjury, so a voter would be committing a felony if they signed one fraudulently.
Rep. John Gannon, D-Boise, voted against moving the bill forward. He argued that in the last election, roughly 2,000 voters used an affidavit, and this bill would be disenfranchising those voters.
The bill, HB 137, now heads to the House for a vote.
The committee also sent a bill that would allow Idaho citizens to get a free identification card for voting to general orders, which is how a bill gets amended.
HB 126, sponsored by Rep. Brandon Mitchell, R-Moscow, is supported by the Secretary of State’s Office.
Some legislators intended for the free ID card to be a remedy for those students who were no longer allowed to use a student ID card at the polls to vote.
Gov. Brad Little signed that bill, HB 124, on Wednesday. Supporters argued that student IDs aren’t reliable and aren’t required to include a date of birth or address. Opponents argued that they are one of the only free forms of ID that students could obtain.
The bill debated Friday would be a free form of identification issued by the Idaho Transportation Department, but couldn’t be used for driving.
Secretary of State Phil McGrane said the bill would also create uniformity across the counties.
Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot, asked that the committee go at ease to discuss a question she had, rather than discussing it in the public meeting.
When the committee came back, it sent the bill to general orders for amendment.
Chairman Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, called HB 126 a “going home bill,” meaning he anticipated it would be one of the final bills lawmakers need to pass before the Legislature leaves for the year.