Idaho House Committee Votes (Barely) to Take DMV Voter Registration Bill Out of Neutral


Boise Democratic Rep., and Idaho Secretary of State candidate, Holli High Woodings is pushing what she calls a DMV voter registration bill, which would allow registration to vote through the Department of Motor Vehicles. But even she admits that could be a challenge to get it through her House State Affairs Committee.

"Tough crowd," wrote Woodings on her Facebook page after presenting before the committee Feb. 18.

The bill, as written, would allow, but not require, Idaho citizens to register to vote at the same time they register with the DMV. Electronic files would be remitted to county clerks' offices throughout the state on a weekly basis, replacing (if an elector) a paper voter registration card. The bill includes an opt-out clause if electors to choose to register with the traditional paper form.

Woodings faced multiple questions from her fellow committee members, including Meridian Republican Rep. Joe Palmer who wanted to know details of how the Idaho Department of Transportation would process the applications and what the associated cost might be.

"I'm not against more people being registered to vote," said Palmer. "But ITD is protective of their funds, and I don't think this is possible without costing them some money. I don't have a problem with this as long as it's not paid for with transportation funds."

Woodings said she had already consulted with ITD officials, but was going to huddle with them again regarding possible implementation of her proposal before her bill comes before a full public hearing.

"ITD is in the process of modernizing their system," she said. "And I believe this could dove tail with their modernization."

In a close vote, the committee voted to move the measure to a full hearing.

"They voted to introduce it, barely," wrote Woodings on her Facebook.