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Idaho House Committee Agrees to Expand Voter ID Options

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An Idaho House panel on Wednesday forwarded legislation that would expand the forms of identification voters might use when they register to vote.

"It turns out that we have dual standards in Idaho when it comes to registering to vote and when we're actually voting," Ada County Deputy Chief Phil McGrane testified to the House State Affairs Committee. "We had a pretty significant confrontation with a voter this past year where the voter was concerned that he was denied the opportunity to vote because he wanted to use his concealed carry permit. Well, that permit is not currently included in Idaho statute as a valid form of voter ID."

McGrane spoke in favor of a measure proposed by Rep. Don Cheatham (R-Post Falls) that would add a concealed carry permit or an enhanced concealed carry permit to the list of ID's—including driver's license, passport and student ID card—that may be presented in order to register.

"This is something that increases greater access to the ballot—something I'll always promote," said McGrane. "It's also a step in the right direction to clarify our law. If you want to register to vote, you can use a concealed carry permit for identification, but you can't use the same photo ID to vote. This is one of the most difficult matters to train our poll workers on."

The committee unanimously agreed to move HB 149 to the full Idaho House for consideration.

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