Early this week, The City of Boise sent letters to over 3,000 registered voters who live in 10 consolidated polling districts. The city included with each letter an unsolicited absentee ballot request form. According to the Boise Weekly, “Deputy City Clerk Wendy Burrows-Johnson said in September that they consolidate precincts—mainly combining ones within city limits with precincts that straddle city and county lines—in order to save money.”
However, rather than sending only letters to these precincts notifying voters of the change in their voting location, which is a great idea, they sent unsolicited ballot requests to every voter in the affected precincts.
On Thursday, TJ Thomson officially called on the City of Boise to correct this egregious, unequal treatment of Boise’s voters.
TJ stated, “It troubles me to see that the City of Boise Elections Office has sent unsolicited absentee request forms to only select precincts in Boise, as opposed to all of Boise’s citizens. I want to see high voter turn-out across the City, but this mailer was only intended to increase turnout in the outskirts of Boise, in newly consolidated precincts. Voters across Boise should have been afforded the same opportunity to vote via absentee ballot – regardless of where they live. I ask that the City immediately rectify this situation.”
TJ went on to add, “The city has fumbled the ball on Boise voters! I live in West Boise and, while I appreciate the hyper-focus on getting out the vote in my west Boise neighborhoods, believe it has disenfranchised the rest of Boise in the process. All of Boise’s citizens deserve equal treatment and one area of the city should not be advantaged over areas in the early voting process.”
Issue #2 – Early voting began Monday for the Boise City Council Elections at only ONE West Boise location.
There is only one early voting location and it is located west of the Boise Town Square Mall at the new Ada County facility on Benjamin Street. In prior years, citizens had the opportunity to vote downtown at Boise City Hall, as well as the public safety building on Barrister. Now, without the downtown option, citizens from the north, east and central neighborhoods are being forced to drive across town to cast an early ballot.
“Again, by opening the only early voting location in West Boise, City Hall has shown unequal treatment of Boise’s citizens by singling out opportunities for West Boise citizens not afforded to all of Boise’s citizens,” TJ said.
TJ called on City Hall to correct these mistakes by opening a voting location for early voters in East Boise and immediately sending absentee request forms to all ofof Boise’s remaining precincts not part of the original mailing.
“City Hall should not decide who will vote. All citizens deserve equal access and treatment in the voting process.”
Please direct all questions to TJ Thomson: 208.559.6010 or TJ4Idaho@hotmail.com