SECTION 1. EXISTING COUNTIES RECOGNIZED. The several counties of the territory of Idaho, as they now exist, are hereby recognized as legal subdivisions of this state.
SECTION 2. REMOVAL OF COUNTY SEATS. No county seat shall be removed unless upon petition of a majority of the qualified electors of the county, and unless two-thirds (2/3) of the qualified electors of the county, voting on the proposition at a general election, shall vote in favor of such removal. A proposition of removal of the county seat shall not be submitted in the same county more than once in six (6) years, except as provided by existing laws. No person shall vote at any county seat election who has not resided in the county six (6) months, and in the precinct ninety (90) days.
SECTION 3. DIVISION OF COUNTIES. No county shall be divided unless a majority of the qualified electors of the territory proposed to be cut off, voting on the proposition at a general election, shall vote in favor of such division: provided, that this section shall not apply to the creation of new counties. No person shall vote at such election who has not been ninety (90) days a resident of the territory proposed to be annexed. When any part of a county is stricken off and attached to another county, the part stricken off shall be held to pay its ratable proportion of all then existing liabilities of the county from which it is taken.
SECTION 4. NEW COUNTIES – SIZE AND VALUATION. No new counties shall be established which shall reduce any county to an area of less than four hundred (400) square miles, nor the valuation of its taxable property to less than one million dollars ($1,000,000); nor shall any new county be formed which shall have an area of less than four hundred (400) square miles, and taxable property of less than one million dollars ($1,000,000), as shown by the last previous assessment.
SECTION 4A. CONSOLIDATION OF COUNTIES. Counties of the state of Idaho as they now exist, or may hereafter be created or exist, may be consolidated in such manner as shall be prescribed by law; provided, no county may be consolidated with another county, except upon approval of a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote in each county, of the qualified electors thereof voting upon the question, and the limitations and provisions of sections 2, 3 and 4 of Article XVIII of the Constitution of the state of Idaho shall have no application to the question of consolidating counties.
SECTION 5. SYSTEM OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT. The legislature shall establish, subject to the provisions of this article, a system of county governments which shall be uniform throughout the state; and by general laws shall provide for township or precinct organizations.
SECTION 6. COUNTY OFFICERS. The legislature by general and uniform laws shall, commencing with the general election in 1970, provide for the election biennially, in each of the several counties of the state, of county commissioners and a coroner and for the election of a sheriff and a county assessor and, a county treasurer, who is ex-officio public administrator, every four years in each of the several counties of the state. All taxes shall be collected by the officer or officers designated by law. The clerk of the district court shall be ex-officio auditor and recorder. No other county offices shall be established, but the legislature by general and uniform laws shall provide for such township, precinct and municipal officers as public convenience may require, and shall prescribe their duties, and fix their terms of office. The legislature shall provide for the strict accountability of county, township, precinct and municipal officers for all fees which may be collected by them, and for all public and municipal moneys which may be paid to them, or officially come into their possession. The county commissioners may employ counsel when necessary. The sheriff, county assessor, county treasurer, and ex-officio tax collector, auditor and recorder and clerk of the district court shall be empowered by the county commissioners to appoint such deputies and clerical assistants as the business of their office may require, said deputies and clerical assistants to receive such compensation as may be fixed by the county commissioners.
SECTION 7. COUNTY OFFICERS – SALARIES. All county officers and deputies when allowed, shall receive, as full compensation for their services, fixed annual salaries, to be paid monthly out of the county treasury, as other expenses are paid. All actual and necessary expenses incurred by any county officer or deputy in the performance of his official duties, shall be a legal charge against the county, and may be retained by him out of any fees which may come into his hands. All fees which may come into his hands from whatever source, over and above his actual and necessary expenses, shall be turned into the county treasury at the end of each quarter. He shall at the end of each quarter, file with the clerk of the board of county commissioners, a sworn statement, accompanied by proper vouchers, showing all expenses incurred and all fees received, which must be audited by the board as other accounts.
SECTION 8. COUNTY OFFICERS – HOW PAID. The compensation provided in section seven for the officers therein mentioned shall be paid by fees or commissions, or both, as prescribed by law. All fees and commissions received by such officers in excess of the maximum compensation per annum provided for each in section seven of this article shall be paid to the county treasurer for the use and benefit of the county. In case the fees received in any one year by any one of such officers shall not amount to the minimum compensation per annum therein provided, he shall be paid by the county a sum sufficient to make his aggregate annual compensation equal to such minimum compensation.
SECTION 9. COUNTY OFFICERS – LIABILITY FOR FEES. The neglect or refusal of any county officer or deputy to account for and pay into the county treasury any money received as fees or compensation, in excess of his actual and necessary expenses, incurred in the performance of his official duties, within ten (10) days after his quarterly settlement with the county shall be a felony, and the grade of the crime shall be embezzlement of public funds, and be punishable as provided for such offenses.
SECTION 10. BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. The board of county commissioners shall consist of three (3) members. Their terms of office shall be as follows: At the general election of 1936 two (2) members shall be elected for a term of two (2) years and one (1) member for a term of four (4) years; at each biennial election thereafter one (1) member shall be elected for a term of two (2) years and one (1) for a term of four (4) years. The legislature shall enact the necessary measures to put this provision into effect and in so doing shall allot such four (4) year term to each commissioner’s election district or like subdivision of the county which may be provided by law, in rotation.
SECTION 11. DUTIES OF OFFICERS. County, township, and precinct officers shall perform such duties as shall be prescribed by law.
SECTION 12. OPTIONAL FORMS OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT. The legislature by general law may provide for optional forms of county government for counties, which shall be the exclusive optional forms of county government. No optional form of county government shall be operative in any county until it has been submitted to and approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon in the county affected at a general or special election as provided by law. The electorate at said election shall be allowed to vote on whether they shall retain their present form of county government or adopt any of the optional forms of county government. In the event an optional form shall be adopted, the question whether to return to the original form or any other optional form, may be placed at subsequent elections, but not more frequently than each four years. When an optional form of county government has been adopted, the provisions of this section supersede sections 5, 6 and 10 of this article and sections 16 and 18 of article V.