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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

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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