Appeal Filed in Closed Primary Ruling


A group of independent Idaho voters have filed an appeal, challenging a federal judge's decision to throw out Idaho's open primary system.

"A third of Idaho voters have lost their right to vote in the state's primaries as a result of this decision," said Harry Kresky, co-counsel for a group calling itself the American Independent Movement of Idaho. "As a result of our invention in the litigation, independents are able to take the necessary legal steps to protect their interests, regardless of what the State of Idaho decides to do in the courts or in the legislature in response to the decision."

On March 2, U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill ruled against the open primary system, saying past primaries were influenced by crossover voting by Democrats and Independents.

Meanwhile, Republican Idaho legislators are working behind closed doors this week, crafting new procedures that would limit GOP primaries to only registered Republicans. House Speaker Lawerence Denney said he expected a bill to surface by Friday. One sticking point will be to determine how long a voter must prove party registration before being eligible to participate in a primary. One proposal suggests two months. Another suggests 180 days.