Early voters in Idaho's largest county are turning out in droves this year. The process started Monday and hasn’t slowed down yet in Ada County.
Ada County Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane was expecting a big voter turnout for this election, but not this big. “Someone said we opened the fire hydrant and it just hasn’t stopped. People are showing up in record, record volumes for early voting this election.”
There aren’t many places in deep red Idaho where you’re likely to hear the kind of proud introduction Gini Ballou offered up not long after we met.
“I’m Gini Ballou,” she said. “My mother stopped to vote for John F. Kennedy on her way to the hospital to have me. And the greatest gift I ever got for my birthday was the ’08 election, when I was given President Obama on my birthday.”
Idaho’s State Controller has stepped down. Donna Jones sent a letter to Idaho Governor Butch Otter over the weekend announcing her retirement. She's been recovering from injuries she received in a car accident in May.
Otter appointed her replacement today. Brandon Woolf has been Acting State Controller for several months.
Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador and his Republican colleagues took on the State Department and the White House Wednesday. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing into the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya last month that killed four American officials, including a U-S Ambassador.
Registering to vote is easier than ever. But Northwest residents don’t appear as eager to vote as they were during the last presidential election. As the deadline to register draws near, state figures show a smaller uptick in voter registration than in 2008.
Presidential elections tend to spur an increase in the number of registered voters. Young people who've never signed up before or people who let their registration lapse figure it's a good time to sign that voter registration card.
Mountain Home, southeast of Boise is a microcosm of a military town. Many of the 14,500 people who live there are connected to Mountain Home Air Force Base. Four-thousand military serve there and some of them come to Grinde's Diner in Mountain Home to eat and talk politics.
The windows at Grinde’s are covered in patriotic paintings like the statue of liberty, a bald eagle and the liberty bell.
The question of how free speech applies to the side of buses is before a panel of federal judges. Members of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Wednesday in a special meeting in Spokane. The case stems from a controversial ad on Seattle buses but has implications for transit systems around the Northwest.
A group called the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign bought the ad in 2010. It shows children standing next to the rubble of a destroyed building. The text says, “Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars At Work.”
Another month has passed with few real developments in the proposed construction of a new waste-to-energy plant at the Ada County landfill.
Ada County commissioners first agreed to the contract with Eagle-based Dynamis Energy two years ago. The county would pay $2 million to Dynamis to develop plans for a facility that would burn trash and tires to create electricity. Dynamis would later buy those plans back.
Religion is one of the most defining characteristics of Latino culture. But pollsters say it plays virtually no role in how they vote. And for two Mexican-American siblings, faith shapes their lives but not their politics.
Marielena Hernandez is 21 years old and she greets me while holding her infant daughter Nicole at her childhood home, in Pasco, in Eastern Washington where her parents still live. “I think I’m over here almost every single day. Me and mom are like best friends,” she says.