Idaho State Capitol building on March 23, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)
Idaho senators unanimously passed a bill that would require audits in randomly selected counties across the state after primary and general elections in an effort to increase voter confidence in the election system.
Senate Bill 1274 was introduced to the committee by a representative of the Idaho Secretary of State’s office and presented on the Senate floor by Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston.
The bill passed with only two senators rising to speak about the legislation. Sen. Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene, who is running to be Idaho’s next Secretary of State, said she would support the bill but felt it wasn’t going far enough to protect election integrity. Idaho is one of six states without an audit process after elections, she said.
Under the new bill, the audits would be open to attendance by media personnel, candidates and representatives from political parties. The exact procedures for the audits would be developed with county clerks, according to the bill text.
Counties would be randomly selected each year according to population, with a certain number from counties with populations between 10,000 and 100,000 people and counties with more than 100,000 people.
Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, said he thought the idea was a step in the right direction, but he hoped people did not take the bill as an indication that there was anything wrong with Idaho’s election process.
The bill will now be referred to the House of Representatives for a hearing. It includes an emergency clause that would make the law effective immediately if it is approved by the House and signed by the governor.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.