January 31, 2012

Dangerous Legislation, Part 3

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 9:37 am

Rep. Susan Chew


Representative Susan Chew is sponsoring House Bill 428.  This bill “Amends existing law to provide that an elector may elect to have an absentee ballot sent to his or her residence on a permanent basis by signing a form supplied to the county clerk and to provide that if such election is made the elector shall receive an absentee ballot for all elections conducted by the county clerk and shall be ineligible to vote at the polls in such election.”

This is another very dangerous piece of legislation which will essentially make it very difficult for Idaho’s county clerks to enforce residency requirements for municipal elections. (more…)

January 22, 2012

Policy Question


Here’s a policy question for the City of Coeur d’Alene:  What is the City’s written policy regarding reading citizen letters into the minutes of City Council meetings?  (more…)

January 18, 2012

Idaho Election Reforms Introduced

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 4:08 pm

Reps. Sims (left) and Henderson (right)

A bill authored by Coeur d’Alene Representative Kathleen Sims was introduced today in the Idaho legislature on a motion by Post Falls Representative Frank Henderson.  The bill, H0381, “Amends and adds to existing law to revise qualifications of electors; to provide a written warning on the application for an absentee elector’s ballot form; and to revise procedures for counting absentee ballots.”  It clarifies and emphasizes the need for residency requirements of Idaho’s electors and to ensure the validity of absentee ballots and their count.

This bill begins to correct several major Idaho election administration law deficiencies which were identified because of the Coeur d’Alene City election contest lawsuit of 2009.

January 15, 2012

Call to Action!

(Click on image to enlarge.)


January 6, 2012

To Vote or Not To Vote?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 11:22 am

According to the occasionally accurate but rarely complete Coeur d’Alene Press, a motion to put the McEuen Field renovation project to a public advisory vote will be offered and seconded, then discussed, at the January 17 Coeur d’Alene City Council meeting.

Do you believe there should be a public advisory vote on this issue?  If so, who should write the ballot wording, and why?  Who should administer the vote, and why?  Who should be allowed to vote?

This would not be a statutorily required general or special election, so Idaho’s  election laws would not necessarily control the conduct of the election.

Here’s another question:  If a public vote were held and if it indicated the voters did not favor the project, would that outcome be interpreted as a vote of “no confidence” in the Mayor and those still on the Council who supported the project and did not want a public vote?

December 12, 2011

Measuring Public Officials’ Performance

Sometimes elected officials’ performance of a seemingly small but statutorily required function can reveal much about their character,  competence, and diligence.

With that in mind, consider this.  Under the heading of “I.  OTHER BUSINESS,” the agenda for the regularly-scheduled December 6, 2011, meeting of the Coeur d’Alene City Council listed “1.  Acceptance of Canvassed Election Results.”  Here is a link to the YouTube video of that segment of the meeting.  Please pay close attention to the words and inflection, facial expressions, and gestures of the Coeur d’Alene Mayor and Council members.

Recalling comments the Coeur d’Alene Mayor and Council members made in the video concerning the conduct of the City’s election by Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes and his staff, now please read Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes’ letter of December 9 sent in response to the Mayor and Council’s conduct at their December 6 meeting .   (more…)

November 16, 2011

Kootenai County Elections Canvass

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 7:58 am

The Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), serving as the statutorily-defined county board of canvassers and the county clerk serving as their secretary, will meet Thursday, November 17, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. to canvass the election returns for all elections within the county precincts.  This public meeting is scheduled to be held in the BOCC conference room on the third floor of the Main County Administration Building, 451 Government Way, Coeur d’Alene, ID.

So … who cares?  The election is over.  Isn’t the election canvass a mere formality, a rubber-stamp action?  While that is how Coeur d’Alene’s mayor, city council, city attorney, and the former Kootenai County clerk treated it in the past, the canvass is an important part of the election.


November 12, 2011

Really, Sandi?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 3:15 pm


In the November 10, 2011, Coeur d’Alene Press article headlined Election won’t sway mayor on McEuen, Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem was complaining that Dan Gookin and Steve Adams won because of partisan support in a supposedly non-partisan election.

Really, Sandi?  (more…)

November 8, 2011

After Today’s Voting, What’s Next?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 9:49 am

What happens after today’s city-fire district elections?

The next important date is Thursday, November 17, 2011, at 1:30 p.m.  That is when the Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners is scheduled to canvass today’s elections.

To better understand the function and importance of the election canvass, see Chapter 13 of “Election Management Guidelines” published by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. (more…)

October 30, 2011

Another Election Oopsie?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 10:52 am


The 7-day pre-general campaign finance report submitted to Coeur d’Alene City Clerk Susan Weathers by the Washington State Council of County and City Employees was informative as much for Weathers’ “Note to File” attached to it as for the information it contained about who is contributing to Sayler’s, Bruning’s, and Edinger’s campaigns.

Weathers blames Secretary of State Ysursa for once again providing “misinformation” to people trying to follow Idaho’s election and campaign finance laws.   Shades of the 2009 City election.

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