Tribune: Lawmaker Wants GOP to Foot the Bill for Closed Primary

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An Idaho lawmaker says if the Gem State GOP wants to have a closed primary, they should pay for the extra costs required to manage it.

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that Lewiston Democratic Rep. John Rusche, the Idaho House minority leader, has introduced a personal bill (bypassing a committee hearing) that would require the Idaho Republican Party to "reimburse counties for any incremental election costs."

"If you're going to restrict voter access, you're having a private election and ought to pay for it," Rusche told the Tribune. "When [Democrats] were knocking on doors last year, the closed primary was one of the main concerns we heard about. This is a way of acknowledging that discontent."

The 2012 election was the first closed primary since the change was enacted and resulted in record-low turnout: approximately 23 percent of registered voters.

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