Friday, June 22, 2012

Idaho: Complaints about rule changes in Coeur d'Alene recall


The most unexpected lesson learned is this: Secretary of State Ben Ysursa thinks he has the right to change the rules and interpret the laws. The Recall rules were changed at several key moments during this process, never in our favor. Let me just leave you with the surprising final ruling from the Secretary of State and our County Prosecutor: If a person’s city address on the Recall petition does not exactly match the city address on their Voter Registration card, the signature is rejected. So if they moved within the city and didn’t re-register, their signature on the petition was thrown out. But that same person is still legal to vote! Yep. I’m not kidding. They said the standard to sign a Recall petition is higher than the standard to vote. Does that make any sense to you?

In the 2009 CdA Election Challenge trial, one of the questionable voters was a woman who went into a polling place, signed the poll book next to a pre-printed address, got her ballot and voted. After she voted, she told the poll workers she had moved to a different city address in a different precinct, two years before. Judge Hosack said her vote still counted; that she was still a legal voter. He said "... I think the rule of law in Idaho case law is pretty clear that courts should honor the right of a qualified voter to vote. And mere technicalities are not sufficient to disenfranchise a voter and deprive them of their constitutional right to vote."

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