Idaho's May 2023 unoffical election results
Update (5/17, 8:42 a.m.)
Levy issues in other areas of Idaho fared better, with voters giving the thumbs up to funding proposed by Vallivue, Emmett, Parma, Payette and New Plymouth School Districts.
Voters in Burley approved a library bond and a hospital bond in Cascade failed. In Hagerman, a water system bond passed by a single vote.
Over 29,000 votes were cast in Ada County, about a 16.6% turnout.
Update (11:22 p.m.)
Josh Cummings and Destinie Hart both held on to their seats on the Meridian Library District Board of Trustees. Both Cummings and Hart were appointed to the board in August 2022.
Cummings will hold a trustee seat for four years and received 68.3% of the vote. Hart will be on the board for six years and received 68.4% of the vote.
The Meridian Library District has faced an attempt to dissolve the district by a group called “Concerned Citizens of Meridian.” That attempt failed and the Ada County Commissioners declined to put it on the ballot in November after hours of public testimony.
Update (11:14 p.m.)
Voters in Ada County rejected a $500 million plant facilities levy proposed by the West Ada School District that was meant to cover growth and upgrade initiatives for the next 10 years. The levy called for the construction of two new elementary schools and a $100 million career technical education center in the district. Over 57% of voters said no.
West Ada School District superintendent Derek Bubb said in a statement he was disappointed but not deterred, and the district will continue to work to find ways to fund growth and maintenance initiatives.
Update (10:31 p.m.)
Voters in three Blaine County cities overwhelmingly approved dedicating some tourism tax funds to affordable housing.
Voters in Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley okayed a .5% sales tax for housing initiatives. It’s not a new tax, but redirects some funds from an existing 1% tax that helps attract air service to the Hailey airport.
According to unofficial election results, about 85% of voters in Sun Valley and Hailey and 75% of voters in Ketchum said they wanted half of the revenue from that tax to go to housing and half to air.
Keith Perry is a former Ketchum restaurant owner and now Blaine County Housing Authority Chair. At a Sun Valley City Council meeting earlier this year, he said the ballot questions struck a balance.
“Doesn’t do us any good to have tourists if we don’t have employees to run our businesses,” he said, “and it doesn’t do us any good to have plenty of employees if we don’t have an effective way to get tourists here.”
The election results mark the first time the cities can legally spend local option tax funds on housing. That’s after Ketchum voters rejected a similar proposal last year. Now, across the three municipalities, the tax could bring in more than $2 million annually for housing in the valley.
Elections are happening on May 16 for local taxing districts, including school districts bonds and levies, in the majority of Idaho counties. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. MT and results should start coming in around 10 p.m. MT.
On the ballot are 10 library district trustees, five sewer and water districts, two auditorium districts, 23 taxing district bonds/levies, seven city questions or bonds and 17 school district bonds/levies.
On the ballot in Idaho are ten library district trustees, five sewer and water districts, two auditorium districts, twenty-three taxing district bonds/levies, seven city questions or bonds, and seventeen school district bonds/levies. A list of elections being conducted in counties throughout Idaho is attached.
Boise State Public Radio will be keeping an eye on the two open seats on the Meridian Library District's Board of Trustees. As we previously reported, the library recently survived a dissolution attempt after a group called the Concerned Citizens of Meridian said it allowed minors to access sexually explicit material.
The West Ada School District is also asking voters to decide on a 500 million dollar levy which will be given out over 10 years.
Idaho Education News reports West Ada believes the levy will cover a decade's worth of building needs in the state's largest school district. Superintendent Derek Bub told Idaho Education News that not getting the levy would mean longer bus routes, more classes in portables and waiting lists for career-technical classes.
With the money, West Ada would also be looking at using $70 million to build new elementary schools to help with overcrowding in the north and south parts of the district. $52 million will also go towards expanding and renovating Centennial High School, according to Idaho Education News.
The Ada County Election's Office says 180,000 people are eligible to vote in this election and anticipates a 20% to 30% turnout.
Only voters who live within the boundaries of one of these districts may vote in that district’s election. You can find your polling place here.