Andrus heart attack? Given a GOP ballot, the Idaho Democrat improvised

dpopkey@idahostatesman.comMay 6, 2014 

0924 BI MGCecil Andrus.JPG

Cecil D. Andrus

How soon they forget Elected governor in 1970, '74, '86 and '90, Cecil Andrus was the most popular Idaho Democrat of the 20th century. When he showed up to vote early last week, he was twice required to show his photo ID, but somehow received a GOP ballot.

Played it to the hilt Andrus briefly considered making mischief and voting GOP, but decided against it. Conscience clear, he couldn't restrain the impulse to make light of the moment.

"I couldn't help myself," Andrus said Monday. "I threw my arm across my chest and shouted, 'Oh, my God! I'm going to have a heart attack. I just got a Republican ballot!'"

Higher up steps in Ada County election workers and a handful of voters joined Andrus in a good laugh. But, Andrus said, an unsmiling boss quickly arrived and replaced his GOP ballot with a Democratic one. "She was ticked off because I was making a joke."

No harm, no foul "It was an innocent mistake," said Ada County Elections Supervisor Jo Spencer, who wasn't present. "We were certainly glad we could catch it and fix it."

No joke? Andrus said the GOP's move to require photo ID and close their primary to non-Republicans is bad policy. "Voting used to be simple. You walked in, got a primary ballot, went into the privacy of the booth and voted in whichever primary you wanted. I don't know why it has to be so difficult to get the job done."

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service

Top Jobs

View All Top Jobs

Find a Home

$1,195,000 Boise
4 bed, 6 full bath. Custom built home in beautiful Terra...

Find a Car

Search New Cars