Medicaid Expansion Ballot Initiative Petition Reaches Milestone
Traditionally, ballot initiatives haven’t had a successful track record in Idaho, but that’s not about to stop Young Democrat leader Joe Goode from doing everything he can to meet the goal of 56,000 signatures to get Medicaid Expansion on the ballot.
Goode, who is the Idaho Young Democrats College Chapters Chair and the campaign’s team leader in Legislative District 17, states, “Our cause is unlike anything else, past or present. Against all odds, the Medicaid for Idaho’s team of unpaid volunteers has been gathering signatures at impressive rates.”
To successfully get this initiative on the November ballot, the team must gather 56,000 signatures. Those signatures must comprise of 6% of the voting population in 18 of Idaho’s 35 Legislative Districts. The movement’s co-founders, Young Dems Luke Mayville and Zach Reider, expect the campaign to hit that mark by the end of March. Thus far, 20,000 signatures have been collected statewide. District teams in Blaine, Bonneville, and Bonner Counties report that they are only a few hundred signatures from their goal.
Success has not been limited to progressive parts of the state, either. “Even in places that are heavily conservative, the campaign has been able to find success, while also finding a blue wave of activists as well,” said Goode, “The energy behind this voter initiative has been remarkable, and our team has been doing great things! However, we still have a lot of hard work ahead of us.”
Young Dem Joe Goode has collected over 1,000 signatures on his petition.
Currently, the campaign is working to recruit volunteers to collect signatures from voters at polling locations on March 13th, the day of the school bond and levy election. In Ada County alone, the campaign needs 200 volunteers to collect signatures at 69 polling locations. Goode said, “March 13 will be a huge day for our campaign, and we must take advantage of it.”
While the Idaho State Legislature is mulling over alternative plans to make healthcare more accessible, none of the proposed plans will completely close the gap. “That’s why the petition is so important,” said Representative Mat Erpelding (Legislative District 19), “The ballot initiative closes the coverage gap for hard working Idahoans, who many times, are working two jobs, taking care of a family, and barely making ends meet.”
The petition must amass 56,000 signatures by May 1st. “If you haven’t signed the Medicaid petition, you’ve got to do it,” said Erpelding, “As an Idahoan who cares for my community, I am 100% on board with Reclaim Idaho’s Medicaid ballot initiative, because it is the best path forward to ensure the security of our families.”
“We can’t slow down, and we can’t give up,” said Goode, “78,000 Idahoans still in the gap are depending on us. The fight must continue.”
If you want to sign the petition or help with the efforts, email Joe Goode here.