HEAR, HEAR!!! "ban absentee ballots. Keep the exceptions for deployed military or other marginal cases, but get rid of this idea that you can treat voting like mailing a postcard. It cheapens voting, and makes it easier for Democrat activists to run up the vote. One volunteer can get an apartment complex of hundreds to cast their ballots in a single afternoon."

At a minimum, reduce the amount of time that the absentee ballot is in their hands. three weeks prior to election day should be more than enough AND make them request it every year! Require an identifiable witness to their signature. Same person "witnessing" more than 10 ballots....should be a crime as in vote harvesting...

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Thank you for your analysis, Brian. Multifaceted and reasoned as always.

Unfortunately, the elephant in the room in Idaho and elsewhere in America is election integrity. The Heritage Foundation ranks Idaho 38th in Election Integrity (https://electionintegrityidaho.org/2022/02/17/idaho-ranked-38th-in-election-integrity/). That's terrible!

I witnessed (and reported) three incidents of potential election irregularities here in Ada County. I am not convinced we had free and fair elections here or anywhere in America (with a few exceptions) and hope the election integrity groups and fair-minded judges will take a much closer look at the entire election process.

Freedom candidates (and voters) who lost their elections should NOT give up. They should use their skills and fervor to submit to their representatives bills that support free and fair elections, the US and Idaho Constitutions, and the American ideals of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Then they should lobby for these bills. Slinking away should not be an option those who wish to keep our republic free.

I hope the Republican Party leadership -- top to bottom -- will do a great deal of much-needed soul searching. Republicans must start backing candidates who are competent at freedom, not just political maneuvering; who will put the voters and the country before Party and their own personal gain; who will not support backroom deals, globalists and corporatists; and who truly believe in and will implement the admirable Republican platform.

People who support freedom SHOULD NOT have to give up their party affiliation for principles that make and keep America strong! We moved to Idaho to escape tyranny and corruption; sadly, in many cases tyranny and corruption remain alive and well here, even in the Republican Party. So many "Rs" after people's names fool the voters into complacency. We must re-form and re-make the Republican Party, or we won't have a republic.

Likewise, citizens and legislators who care about our country MUST work together to change laws, educate themselves between elections, and watch what happens around them.

Everyone must become pro-active in preserving their own futures and that of America.

Finally, the Golden Rule is the principle of treating others as one wants to be treated. Every American must put the Golden Rule into practice every single day, regardless of party, religion, color, creed, gender identification, etc.

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The system is broken and those closest to it are so interested in playing on team R either can’t won’t admit this simple fact. The GOP club is protecting the team for better or for worse. Why were Little and Bedke left off of your analysis? I wonder if it’s because the GOP knows this is bad for Idaho. But, of course, you can’t say that because the team won’t allow it.

Maybe digging deeper into why so many people are dropping off the team and voting for “principled” independent candidates is a more important task. I had to laugh that the word principled was placed in quotes because it so accurately describes how many disillusioned conservatives see many R’s. I did not vote for Sarah, but I would be interested to hear more from the over 400 people who did. I suppose this analysis also assumes that these votes would go to the R.

I am not a paid analyst or vying to be on team red so my takes are from a regular citizen who is very skeptical of the party’s integrity. I diligently research issues and candidates before voting. The Idaho Republican Party cheapened principled votes as much as the left by giving blanket protection and passive endorsement to any R candidate. Little got by with no accountability and even got his liberal opinion poll through to support giving more money to our terrible public schools. Embarrassingly, he gave out bribery checks right before the election and the GOP let all of that go without question! But the GOP will wring their hands at inflation. Where do they suppose inflation comes from?

Lastly, a couple weeks ago, I emailed several of our previously more vocal freedom-focused representatives and asked if they had researched Bundy. Many of their views seemed to align with Bundy’s keep Idaho Idaho plan. I also encouraged them to be more vocal again in holding Little accountable and possibly endorse Bundy if they felt he was a better candidate. One representative responded on Election Day that their ballot had just been completed and, “I voted for him. I hope he wins.” While I appreciate this reps honesty, it further cemented my opinion of party politics. Perhaps the closet endorsement cleared this rep’s conscience that we did our best. Very likely this same representative and others will be fighting Little on his less than conservative views and fighting back in the legislature once again. The bed has certainly been made by so many R team members and the entire keep Idaho red crew. So here’s to four more years of fighting back against Little. Maybe next election the team can work up the courage to speak boldly and publicly about truly conservative candidates.

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💯🎯Well said, SA! I agree completely. Truly conservative Rs who did not speak out are just as complicit in the consequences as the “representatives” who consistently vote and act to undermine American values. And citizens who fail to do their research and vote their consciences — or who fail to vote at all (after doing their research) — are just as much to blame.

Thank you, SA, for your diligence and honest assessment.

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Nov 10, 2022·edited Nov 10, 2022Author

I appreciate your perspective, as always!

The Idaho GOP exists as an organization to elect Republican candidates. The method for choosing those candidates is a primary election. There are conversations to be had about reforming that system, but it's unreasonable to ask the party itself to not support its own candidates.

It's it interesting though how the people who are most plugged into political discourse are more willing to vote for someone like Bundy, while Little's base of support are low info voters who are most easily swayed by advertising, or simply vote party line? It seems like the issue is in education. Conservatives need a megaphone that can match that of IACI and the big business interests that run this state.

Regarding the Constitution Party candidate in LD15, you never know how those 400 might have voted. There's no guarantee that her absence in the race would definitely mean Codi Galloway would have won. But it is a significant trend that third parties harm those who are closest to them in ideology rather than those who are further apart. "Principled" Green Party voters in Florida in 2000 gave us George W. Bush instead of Al Gore. "Principled" Bull Moose voters in 1912 gave us Woodrow Wilson instead of WH Taft. "Principled" Constitution Party voters in LD15 gave us Rick Just instead of Codi Galloway.

I think there is a disagreement about what voting is, and I'll go into this more in a later piece. A lot of people who vote third party treat the vote as something sacred, and they are unwilling to cast their vote for anyone with whom they have the slightest disagreement. I see it rather as an exercise in pragmatism, a tactical act to get the best possible outcome. There are few out there who fit each of our platonic ideals of a conservative Republican (save Tammy Nichols, perhaps!) so we often have to make compromises if we want to win any battles or gain any ground. Politics is the art of the possible, after all.

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