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Idaho election head wants to produce expanded voter guide

Idaho produces a statewide voter pamphlet, but it doesn't include information about candidates.
Courtesy Idaho Secretary of State's office
Idaho produces a statewide voter pamphlet, but it doesn't include information about candidates.

Secretary of State Phil McGrane asks to follow the lead of Washington and Oregon.

When election season rolls around, people in Washington and Oregon can look forward to receiving a voters’ information guide in the mail.

The pamphlets are full of information about statewide ballot measures and candidates at the federal and state levels. Counties produce companion versions that focus on local measures and candidates.

Idaho has fallen behind in this endeavor, says new Secretary of State Phil McGrane.

“The Secretary of State’s office currently publishes and prints a voter pamphlet,” he told members of the Senate State Affairs Committee on Friday.

McGrane held up a copy of the 2022 general election version.

“It includes the constitutional amendment (to give the legislature the authority to call itself back into special session). It included the advisory vote (related to refunding state income tax money and increasing education spending) and also any initiatives,” he said. “What I’m seeking to do is expand on that.”

McGrane is asking legislators for permission and money to compile and print a statewide voters’ guide that includes information about candidates.

“The most common question, by far and away that the Secretary of State’s office gets, as well as the county clerks get, is where is my voter guide. All of our surrounding states, or what I like to refer as our feeder states, produce voter guides and it’s really providing information to voters,” he said. “This is included as my highest priority, in terms of my budget request.”

The committee voted to introduce McGrane’s request as a bill and to give it a hearing in the near future.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.