Two North Idaho Candidates Initially Blocked From Primary Will Appear On Ballots

May 7, 2018

Voters in the northern part of the state will be able to support Phil Hart and Kathy Sims in their respective primary races May 15. Both GOP candidates had previously been deemed ineligible to run by the Secretary of State's Office.
Credit Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

After two candidates were kicked off the ballot by the Secretary of State’s office in recent weeks, the move has been reversed. The pair running for legislative seats in northern Idaho will participate in the upcoming primary.

Former GOP lawmakers Phil Hart of Athol and Kathy Sims from Coeur d'Alene were booted from the ballot just weeks before the May 15 Idaho primary.

The lawyer representing the pair, Arthur Macomber, says a court-issued preliminary injunction is changing that.

“Both Kathy Sims and Phil Hart will be allowed to run in the primary unencumbered,” Macomber says. “The ballots will not be crossed out or blacked out in either case. The court essentially mandated that the voters get to decide the primary and not the Secretary of State.”

Officials claimed Sims and Hart hadn’t been registered voters in the districts they hoped to represent for at least a year. Authorities believed that put them at odds with the state constitution – something Macomber disputes.

“So there’s registered electors, which are voters which is Article VI in the constitution,” says Macomber. “And then there are electors that are not registered which is Article III. We made the argument that candidates are not required to register at all. Although, the legislature does have a residency requirement, which Ms. Sims and Phil Hart both met.”

Hart will appear on the ballot for a seat in Riggins while voters in Post Falls will have the option to support Sims.

For more local news, follow the KBSX newsroom on Twitter @KBSX915

Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio