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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Idahoans vote in primaries Tuesday, but future primaries could look different

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Monday, May 20, 2024   

As this year's primary approaches, supporters of a voter initiative in Idaho hope future primaries will look different.

Idaho's primaries are being held on Tuesday. Earlier this month, supporters of the open primary initiative exceeded the number of signatures needed to appear on the November ballot and are awaiting verification. The measure would get rid of the state's closed primary system.

Margaret Kinzel, Boise chapter member of the group Mormon Women for Ethical Government, said a small percentage of voters in primaries aligned with the state's dominant Republican Party essentially decide elections.

"If you want to have any voice at all on who your elected officials will be, you have to vote in the Republican primary and with it being closed, you have to align with the Republican Party," Kinzel pointed out.

The initiative would replace the current system with a top-four primary open to everyone, regardless of party affiliation. It would also create a ranked choice voting system for the general election. Opponents argued the systems proposed are too complicated.

Kinzel noted under the current primary system, less moderate candidates have a better shot at winning. She contended the open primaries initiative would change it.

"To promote more civil discourse, you have to appeal to a broader range of voters in order to make it through both the primary and the general election," Kinzel stressed. "We're just hoping that's going to create more conversations between candidates and their constituents."

Kinzel added a tenet of her Mormon faith includes the respect and dignity of each individual.

"Open primaries really plays into that by trying to ensure that all people hear and are heard, particularly in our governmental processes," Kinzel explained. "It really does come back to a matter of faith for us."


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