Denney seeks arguments for, against initiatives

Denney

BOISE — Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney is inviting proponents and opponents of two ballot initiatives to submit their best arguments for and against the measures, for possible inclusion in a statewide voter pamphlet.

“Once we have received the arguments, we will select one to be published in the Voter Information Pamphlet which will be mailed to every household in the state,” Denney said.

That mailing, by law, goes out whenever there’s an initiative or constitutional amendment on the Idaho ballot. The last such mailing came in 2016, when a constitutional amendment regarding administrative rules was on the ballot. It passed with 55.5 percent support. The statewide mailing costs about $200,000.

The office is accepting arguments on both the racing initiative, which has officially qualified for the November ballot and would legalize “instant racing” betting machines at Idaho racetracks; and the Medicaid expansion initiative, for which signatures currently are being tallied, but which is expected also to qualify for the ballot.

Arguments can be up to 500 words, and may be submitted by individuals or organizations, but organizations are favored.

Tim Hurst, chief deputy secretary of state, said the office can’t pick and choose at whim among the arguments. By law, he said, “We have to pick somebody who we think is speaking for the largest group of people.”

Authors of the measures are given priority for the arguments in favor. They are due by July 20.

Authors also will be allowed to submit rebuttals of up to 250 words, once the arguments have been selected; the rebuttals are due by Aug. 1.

Proposed arguments may be hand-delivered to the Secretary of State’s office on the second floor of the state Capitol in Boise; faxed to 208-334-2282; or emailed to elections@sos.idaho.gov.

For information, call the Secretary of State’s elections division at 208-334-2852.

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