BOISE, Idaho — Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane will be the next Idahoan to be featured on the cover of an upcoming edition of Time Magazine discussing election integrity.
“Honestly, I have no idea what to say. It's completely surreal,” McGrane said. “When I spoke to Time a couple of weeks ago, I just thought it was part of a broader article regarding Secretary of State races. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever, ever imagine being on the cover of Time magazine.”
McGrane is passionate about elections and election integrity, something he has spoken about at length in recent years. He said making the cover of one of the biggest publications in the world was not something he ever considered happening.
“It still feels strange being just somebody who grew up here in Idaho to possibly be on Time. I had one person describe it to me as a bucket list thing, and I can assure you it has never been on any list I've ever even contemplated,” McGrane said.
McGrane is featured in a portion of the article, exactly 29 words are attributed to him in a quote about election conversations in Idaho during the heated May primary race.
“I'm barely even mentioned in the article that's referenced, so why my barely mention in the article ends up on the cover? I don't know. But it is pretty cool to be able to be a part of something like this,” McGrane said.
McGrane says whether he made the cover or not, he thinks the conversation surrounding election integrity and trust in elections is absolutely worthy of the cover story.
“It's a very hot topic. Elections, integrity. I have conversations all over the state about it. I think this will help continue to facilitate that conversation. I've already had calls with some of the candidates that are on the cover with me in terms of where we go as a party and as a country. And I think that'll continue. I look forward to meeting more people as the election comes up in November,” McGrane said.
The issue of Time featuring McGrane is set to be out on October 10th, about a month before the November election. A crucial time for Americans to talk about election integrity and voting in general.
“Everyone wants to have confidence in our elections right now. That doesn't mean everyone does. But we can take steps in terms of being transparent to build on that,” McGrane said.
Still, the feeling of being on the cover of Time Magazine can be hard to process. It is a space that has hosted iconic images of world leaders, innovators, and the most talked about people of their time.
“When anyone thinks of a cover of Time magazine, especially I mean, Queen Elizabeth, obviously right now, right. It's heads of state and others. I know they cover a breadth of issues. Like I said, I certainly never saw myself there,” McGrane said.
In terms of the actual picture they used on the cover of McGrane, he thinks it is a fair representation.
“As Mark Johnson used to always note, I'm always smiling. So, to be smiling on Time magazine feels like a particular privilege. And so I'm just excited. Hopefully I'm representing the state well,” McGrane laughed.
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