In addition to Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane, who declared his candidacy last month to be Idaho’s next Secretary of State, Idaho State Senator Mary Souza of Idaho’s 4th legislative district has recently thrown her hat in the ring. For qualifications, Souza is touting her past work on voting integrity, saying she has, “worked with legislators from both parties in both houses to increase voting integrity.”
Idaho is one of 35 states that directly elects its Secretary of State. Duties of the position are largely administrative, such as registering and tracking business filings, commissioning and regulating notaries of the public, and recording official acts of the governor. The position is also responsible for overseeing state elections and officially recording election results.
One state legislator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there were some concerns among legislators about Souza’s candidacy. “Souza has made a lot of bad votes,” the legislator said. “She started out as a conservative, but she changed over the years. Now she’s a RINO” (Republican In Name Only).
In the 2019 legislative session, Souza received a “D+” score in the Idaho Freedom Index, and a 59% (essentially an “F”) from the American Conservative Union.
Souza was also criticized by legislators for casting the deciding vote against protecting children at schools. The bill, which easily passed in the House, would have allowed trained personnel to carry concealed on school property. Supporters of the bill were disappointed in Souza’s vote, saying the bill would have provided an opportunity to end the carnage of a school shooting before police arrived.
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