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BOISE • A newly proposed bill won’t make waiting in line at the Division of Motor Vehicles any more enjoyable, but it would allow Idahoans to register to vote while applying for a driver’s license.

“It’s really a convenience thing,” said state Rep. Holli Woodings, D-Boise, who is sponsoring the bill. “This is currently done in other states.”

The legislation barely passed its introductory hearing Tuesday before the House State Affairs Committee, with five lawmakers opposing. The bill now awaits a possible full hearing.

Those opposed argued that the bill — which says there would be no fiscal impact — could carry potential costs.

Woodings said she talked with transportation officials before Tuesday but did not discuss implementation.

“I think we’re putting the cart before the horse saying there’s no fiscal impact,” said state Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise.

The Department of Transportation is protective of its funds, said state Rep. Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, who is also chairman of the House Transportation Committee. Officials probably won’t be willing to give up money to create something new, he said.

Republican Rep. Eric Anderson of Priest Lake said the bill has merit, and he was “looking forward to further discussion on it.”

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Woodings is submitting her bill almost one week after fellow Democratic Rep. Mat Erpelding of Boise submitted a voter registration bill.

Unlike Woodings’ bill, his would create an online voter registration portal on ITD’s website. That bill is waiting to be scheduled for a full hearing.

Idaho is one of 12 states that does not allow in-person voter registration at the Division of Motor Vehicles.


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