BOISE – It was a heated discussion when the decision to go with the closed Republican primary was made; should voter's party choice be public?
One of the first bits of information you will be asked to give when you get to the polls Tuesday is your party affiliation which in turn, will be made public.
“There will be a record of who's a registered democrat and who's a registered Republican,” said Idaho’s Secretary of State Ben Ysursa.
After the primary is over, who voted on what ballot can be made public through an open public records request out of the Secretary of State's office or your county clerk’s office.
“It's not going to be difficult for people to get a copy of (it), to get a list,” said Ysursa.
But why get the list?
Ysursa said Monday political parties will want that list, so they can target their voters better for the November general election.
“Which parties they are attached to, I don't really care,” Mary McCool told KTVB Monday.
Some voters we asked don't see the point of disclosing that information.
“At least people have choices as to which party, and some people see it as a negative that you can cross over,” said McCool.
Others felt that it shouldn’t matter which party a voter is affiliated with.
“You know it doesn’t bother me too much because I am a Republican anyway, so to be labeled that doesn’t really bother me too much,” said Boise resident Kevin Schumway.
However, some might be curious how Idaho's Journalists will vote?
“It would be interesting to hear what they are affiliated with, just to hear their different angles and stories and stuff like that, I think it might be interesting,” said Boise resident Marcus Liese.
Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Executive Director, Wayne Hoffman feels if anyone, journalists should get their vote out.
“There is no reason in the world they should be afraid to share that sort of information,” said Hoffman.
Hoffman says there are so many news outlets out there and news consumers are more sophisticated than they have ever been.
“And a lot of news consumers relish having those differences of a journalist’s sources to draw from,” said Hoffman.
Idaho Freedom Foundation runs a news operation called IdahoReporter.com. The organization prides itself on proving watchdog coverage of government issues. Hoffman believes journalists should be as transparent as the stories they tell.
“Go have them participate in the elections, register to vote in whatever party they choose to and then make that information available to people and people will be more informed news consumers,” he said.
Secretary of State Ysursa said 22 other states also hold closed primary elections, so even though this is new to Idaho, it’s not to other parts of the nation.
Ysursa said he has even asked journalists their thoughts on disclosing their party affiliation, “I know the news folks are struggling with it."
Judges may also struggle because they are supposed to have a balanced reputation - the same as journalists.