Billboards fixed after Dems threaten to sue

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Billboards across the state no longer include the date of the Republican Presidential primary.

A billboard along U.S. 95 in Coeur d’Alene claims “Idaho Votes,” with no reference to the Republican Presidential Primary on March 8.

That’s good news to Idaho Democratic Party leaders who protested the signs when the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office put them up earlier this month — at a cost of $20,000 — with the words “Presidential Primary March 8.”

The March 8 state-funded primary is only open to voters affiliated with the Idaho Republican Party and the Constitution Party of Idaho. The signs made no mention of the Idaho Democratic Presidential Caucus that will take place March 22.

“...your advertising campaign is misleading and inaccurate and likely to cause much confusion for voters seeking to participate in the primary or those voters who associate with any other parties,” stated Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Bert Marley in a letter to Secretary of State Lawrence Denney.

The letter, dated Friday, Feb. 12, called for Denney’s office to correct the signs immediately, and asked for a response by 5 p.m. the following Monday.

The state Democratic Party announced Wednesday that the Secretary of State’s Office agreed this week to fix the signs, after receiving a Feb. 19 letter from Idaho Democratic Party lawyers who threatened legal action.

“We thank the Secretary of State’s Office for recognizing that their billboard advertising campaign was misleading and for agreeing to fix the billboards,” said IDP Executive Director Sally Boynton Brown, in a press release. “We are also pleased that we solved this issue without having to take it court.”

The signs are expected to be fixed within a week, with the words “Presidential Primary Election March 8” removed. The signs will still include a link to the Secretary of State’s IdahoVotes.org website, where voters can access information about the GOP primary and the Democrats’ caucus.

The sign in Coeur d’Alene states “Election Information.”

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