Idaho Group Asks Judge To Place Its Initiative On November Ballot

Jun 29, 2020

A federal judge in Boise has been asked to place a public school funding measure on Idaho's statewide November ballot.
Credit U.S. Justice Department

An Idaho group that has sponsored a public school funding initiative is asking the state to immediately certify the measure for the November ballot.

Attorneys for Reclaim Idaho filed that motion today [Monday] with a federal judge in Boise not long after the judge ruled against a motion by the state.

On Friday, Judge Lynn Winmill ruled the Covid pandemic had cut short by 48 days the window allowed by the state to collect signatures for initiatives for the November election. He ordered the state to give the campaign the extra time this summer to collect signatures online or send the measure straight to the ballot.

The state filed a motion refusing to do either. It said the group had plenty of time to gather signatures and voluntarily ended its signature gathering. It argued the state wants to protect the integrity of its election process and isn’t willing to place a measure on the ballot without the campaign fulfilling all of the requirements. And it argued online signature gathering is not legally allowed in Idaho.

Winmill on Monday rejected those arguments and asked the state to choose one of his two options. Reclaim Idaho’s attorneys then asked him to order the state to send the initiative to the ballot.

“We fully anticipate we will have a chance to put our K-12 funding initiative on the ballot and we’re doing everything we can to build a winning campaign for November," said Reclaim Idaho co-founder Luke Mayville.

The state declined comment.

Reclaim Idaho’s measure would require the state spend an additional 170-million dollars each year for public schools. Mayville says the group wants its measure on the ballot this year because the governor has begun talking about budget cuts, including for education.