I don’t get a reminder from the State of Idaho that I need to renew my drivers license. I guess they expect me to be mature and responsible and figure those things out on my own. Yeah, right.
Well, I did just renew my drivers license, since it’s due to expire in a few weeks. I forgot one time, and I showed up in their office with a really expired license. They made me take the test and get a new picture. That must have taught me the lesson, because I didn’t forget this time.
And guess what? I could renew my driver’s license ON LINE! It was pretty easy, really. I had to give them some identifying information and confirm I was indeed who I claimed to be, and click on a box that said if I was lying I could go to jail. Oh, yeah, they took my money too. But overall, it was pretty slick. Idaho must trust the process. I do.
Now this process won’t work for the Star Card. That’s the Patriot Act universal identification the federal government passed after 9/11. Believe it or not the Idaho legislature voted unanimously (all Dems, all Repubs) to tell the federal government to stick it on that one. So now we have the option of giving the feds our information in person (like they don’t have it already); then we’d get the Star Card. We could use to get on an airplane. If we get the regular old Idaho license TSA won’t recognize it. I went with the Idaho one.
So, since Idaho has entered the digital age in drivers licensing, am puzzled why our governor believes collecting initiative signatures on line would be a problem.
I have collected a lot of initiative signatures, in the rain, the snow and the sun. I never checked someone’s identification. I always reminded them they needed to put down their address where they were registered to vote on the piece of paper. I also reminded them of the penalty for signing the petition multiple times. Kind of like the online license pages checked my address and information, and warned me about jail time.
Once the paper petitions are filled out, I had to get them notarized, then I had to turn them in to the local county clerk. This is where the signatures were validated.
Don’t get me started on the hurdles, the many different legislative districts required. But, I guess if the legislature wants to change those laws, they can. They have tried. I bet they’ll try again. But that’s fine, laws are made to be changed.
The way it is now, the Idaho Constitution says citizens have a fundamental right to pass and repeal laws. That can be changed too, but it’s a lot harder.
Why is there a need for online initiative signatures?
This problem came about because Reclaim Idaho started collecting signatures for their school funding initiative. They were chugging along, ahead of their pace for the Medicaid Expansion Initiative which they got on the ballot in 2018. But then there was that Governor Little “Stay at Home” order. Reclaim suspended their process and the timeline ran out. Reclaim argues, give us the time now to collect online signatures. Little says no. He wants to take it to the Supreme Court, now that a federal judge has told him to let Reclaim proceed.
If the state trusts me to renew my driver’s license on my laptop, why wouldn’t they trust me to sign an initiative petition?
Reclaim has begun collecting online signatures, even though the outcome is still up in the air. If you are interested, you can go to their website and read about it. Now, why this initiative makes sense is another story.