Idaho House introduces bill to eliminate voter identification affidavits in elections
About 1,500 Idaho voters signed an affidavit to vote last year
Idaho Rep. Joe Alfieri, R-Coeur d’ Alene, listens to a fellow lawmaker on the House floor at the State Capitol in Boise on Jan. 9, 2023. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)
A new bill introduced in the Idaho House of Representatives on Monday would eliminate Idahoans’ ability to sign a sworn voter identification affidavit to verify their identity to vote at the polls in elections.
Rep. Joe Alfieri, R-Coeur d’Alene, is sponsoring House Bill 137, which he said he worked on with the support of the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office.
Under current Idaho law, voters may sign a voter identification affidavit instead of showing photo identification. Anyone who provides false or inaccurate information on their voter affidavit is guilty of a felony under current state law.
“It’s very rarely used, frankly,” Alfieri told the House State Affairs Committee.
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“It presents some difficulty in verifying ID,” Alfieri added.
Rep. John Gannon, D-Boise, said about 1,500 Idaho voters signed a voter affidavit in the last election. He asked Alfieri what replacement options he would give the 1,500 voters who signed affidavits.
“Actually, the alternative is to produce a valid ID of some sort,” Alfieri said.
After a short discussion Monday, the House State Affairs Committee voted to introduce Alfieri’s bill, which clears the way for it to return to the committee for a full hearing.
Under current Idaho law, acceptable forms of photo identification for voting include:
- An Idaho driver’s license or identification card issued by the Idaho Transportation Department.
- A passport or photo identification card issued by an agency of the U.S. government.
- A tribal identification card that includes a photograph.
- A current student photo ID card issued by an Idaho high school or Idaho-based college, university or technical school.
- A license to carry concealed weapons.
Alfieri’s new bill isn’t the only bill that would do away with the voter affidavits. Earlier this session, Rep. Tina Lambert, R-Caldwell, introduced House Bill 54, which would eliminate student IDs as an acceptable form of identification at the polls and eliminate the voter affidavit. The House State Affairs Committee voted to introduce House Bill 54 on Jan. 30. So far, that bill has not returned to the committee for a full public hearing.
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