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Reclaim Idaho Sues State Over New Ballot Initiative Law

Amy Pratt, Idahoans for Healthcare, Medicaid for Idaho, canvas
James Dawson
Boise State Public Radio
Amy Pratt, a volunteer for Reclaim Idaho, canvasses an Idaho Falls neighborhood in 2018 urging voters to approve a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid eligibility in the state.

Activists are joining former elected officials and judges to challenge Idaho’s new law restricting ballot initiative rights.

Gov. Brad Little signed the bill into law three weeks ago. It requires ballot initiative and referendum campaigns to collect a certain number of signatures from all of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts.

Reclaim Idaho, the group behind the successful Medicaid expansion initiative, along with the Committee to Protect and Preserve the Idaho Constitution, sued the state Friday.

The committee includes former attorney general and chief justice of the Idaho Supreme Court, Jim Jones.

They say the law is unconstitutional and makes it impossible for any initiative or referendum to get on the ballot.

The lawsuit asks the Idaho Supreme Court to invalidate all geographic signature requirements. That means campaigns would only need to get 6% of all registered voters to sign a petition to put a proposal to voters.

The attorney general’s office declined to comment on the case.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!