In Idaho, State Rep. Don Cheatham sponsored and introduced legislation allowing voters to use their state-issued concealed carry permit as a valid form of voter identification on election day.
Testifying in front of the Idaho House State Affairs Committee, Ada County Deputy Chief Phil McGrane testified that Cheatham’s House Bill 149 would help move voters through polling stations more efficiently and provide an additional option for voters to use as a valid form of voter ID.
“It turns out that we have dual standards in Idaho when it comes to registering to vote,” explained McGrane. “We had a pretty significant confrontation with a voter this past year where the voter was concerned that he was denied the opportunity to vote because he wanted to use his concealed carry permit. Well, that permit is not currently included in Idaho statute as a valid form of voter ID.”
Idahoans can use a concealed carry permit as ID when registering to vote, but not as a valid form of ID when they actually show up to vote. According to the current law, when a voter shows up at the polls only a current drivers license, identification card, passport, tribal identification card, or student identification card is accepted as proper ID.
“This is something that increases greater access to the ballot—something I’ll always promote,” explained McGrane. “It’s also a step in the right direction to clarify our law. If you want to register to vote, you can use a concealed carry permit for identification, but you can’t use the same photo ID to vote. This is one of the most difficult matters to train our poll workers on.”
The House State Affairs Committee voted unanimously to advance HB149 on to the House for further consideration.