Ada County Clerk Chris Rich and Canyon’s Chris Yamamoto have filed “friend of the court” briefs with the Idaho Supreme Court essentially urging the justices to act quickly on several lawsuits brought by other counties contesting the newest state and federal legislative district boundaries.
The problem lies with the Idaho law which requires candidates to file for office by February 27 for the MAy 15 primary election. If the lines are not carved in stone by that date, there is no way all candidates will know what district they may reside within and ballots cannot be printed.
The entire press release follows below.
Ada County Clerk Chris Rich and Canyon County Clerk Chris Yamamoto have filed an application to appear as amicus curiae in the challenge to the Legislative Redistricting Plan that is before the Idaho Supreme Court.
The Clerks have taken this unusual step because delays in the redistricting process may prevent Ada and Canyon County’s Elections Departments from being ready for the May 15, 2012 Primary Election. Combined, the two counties account for more than 37% of Idaho’s population.
Legislative and congressional boundaries must be finalized before the Clerks can begin their work. That work requires first mapping out new precinct boundaries, then entering all changes into the Idaho State Voter Registration System (ISVRS). ISVRS is the tool used to identify the districts and precinct in which all Idaho voters and candidates reside.
To quote from the amicus application, “All federal, state, county and precinct candidates must file for candidacy on or before February 27, 2012. I.C. § 34‑704.” For a person to file in the correct district or precinct, those boundaries must first be defined and then entered into the Idaho State Voter Registration System. The clerks must have sufficient time to enter and proof the data that defines those districts and precincts.
Should the application to appear as amicus curiae be granted, the clerks will detail how the delay could jeopardize the upcoming election.
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