Secretary of State Phil McGrane was in the area because of the school bond elections. He joined Neal and Julie in studio and answered questions about the GOP caucus, ranked voting, and drop boxes.
While Secretary of State McGrane was careful not to take a position on the initiative that would create open primaries and introduce ranked choice voting in Idaho, he said Idaho doesn’t have the voting infrastructure to support such an overhaul of Idaho’s election system. “The trust in the process…is at an all-time low–at least in our lifetime–related to elections …[and] so we’re trying to do everything that we can to build confidence… I’m not weighing in specifically on the initiative…there is a question both about the changes that they’re looking to make towards our primaries which is very distinctly different than the rank choice voting that they’re talking about at the general election…I will say that from where we sit, the state of Idaho is not prepared to implement rank choice voting at this point in time. Our voting equipment doesn’t handle rank choice voting. So, I think there are going to be a lot of questions and I think this initiative feels very different than ones they’ve circulated the past…the average Idahoan, I don’t know that they fully grasp what’s being discussed at this point in time.”
Secretary McGrane reached out to Alaska’s Secretary of State’s office. He found that in Alaska, there is a more state-centric voting system, as opposed to Idaho where each county’s voting system is a little different. So, implementing ranked choice voting would look different in Idaho than Alaska.