By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports
The Idaho House of Representatives killed a bill in a 33-36 vote that would have repealed the option to use an affidavit in lieu of an identification card at the polls.
The bill, H 137, sponsored by Rep. Joe Alfieri, R-Coeur d’Alene, would have removed the option to use an affidavit, in effort to secure elections.
Alfieri argued that society requires identification for other aspects of life, and the state should require the same for voters.
Rep. Britt Raybould, R-Rexburg, noted that any voter who fraudulently signs an affidavit is subject to felony penalty of perjury. She pointed to elderly people who no longer have a driver’s license or passport and need the affidavit to vote.
Rep. John Gannon, D-Boise, said about 2,000 people voted using the affidavit in the last election.
“I submit to you that someone denying someone who is a qualified voter can also change an election,” said Rep. Steve Berch, D-Boise. “And that’s what this bill does. In the absence of any information that indicates this is in any way a problem, we do not need this law and quite frankly it will disenfranchise qualified, legal voters.”
Rep. Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, said he has seen people register with an affidavit, not just use it as a form of identification.
“The fact is that if you vote with an affidavit, you can cheat. Cheaters cheat,” said Palmer. “You can go to the poll and register with the affidavit. You want to give people a way to cheat, this is the way to do it.”
Ultimately, the bill failed by two votes.