Handfull Of People Decide Idaho Judicial Races

May 16, 2012

Three sitting judges will keep their seats after running unopposed in Tuesday's primary.  For those who voted the unaffiliated ballot, their only choice was to vote for Supreme Court Justice Dan Eismann  and Appellate Court Judges David Gratton and John Melanson.  A few people chose the unaffiliated ballot than the Democratic or Republican one. That could be a problem, says Gary Moncrief.  The political science professor at Boise State says fewer people are likely to vote for judges than in the other races.


“Are you gonna go out and vote just in the judicial election?  My guess is no," says Moncrief. "There’s a lot of people who are unaffiliated voters who aren’t gonna go out and vote in the judicial election.”

Idaho’s Secretary of State says historically, primary elections have a lower turnout than the General election in November.  Moncrief says with the new closed primary system, there will be an even lower voter turnout on the judicial election side.

 “Because there are some people who could previously vote on the judicial elections, because of the open primary component, who now will not be voting at all.”

He says it may be time to re-evaluate when judges get elected.  He suggests the best way to get to get more voters involved would be to have those races decided in the General Election in November.