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Idaho Republicans seek to up deadline for affiliation change


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BOISE (AP) — Idaho’s 300,000 unaffiliated voters might have to act fast if they want to participate in the closed Republican primary on May 17.

A Republican-backed bill introduced last week would eliminate the current practice allowing unaffiliated voters to change their party affiliation up to election day.

Instead, those voters would have to register as a Republican this year by March 11. That’s the same deadline for those registered as Republicans or Democrats.

The proposed legislation arrives amid increasing calls for independents and Democrats to register as Republicans to vote in the 2022 Republican primary to prevent far-right Republicans from winning at the primary level.

Republican primary winners typically dominate statewide elections in November, often winning with 60% of the vote.

The most prominent Republican primary race is for governor, where Gov. Brad Little is facing a challenge from far-right Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin.