© 2021 Boise State Public Radio

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact us at boisestatepublicradio@boisestate.edu or call (208) 426-3663.
WebHeader_3.png
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Politics & Government
00000176-d8fc-dce8-adff-faff72a50000The 2014 midterm election is a big year in Idaho.Each of the state's top offices are on the ballot; governor, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction, attorney general, and treasurer. Plus, all 105 legislative seats are up for grabs (although, not all of those seats are contested).One of Idaho's U.S. Senate seats is on the ballot, plus both House of Representatives seats.Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, a Republican, is running for a rare third term. The last Idaho governor to get a third term was Democrat Cecil Andrus, who held the office for 14 years.Polls are open Nov. 4, 2014 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Click here to find your polling place, and learn more about what you need to bring to the polls.Plus, find NPR's election-night live-blog, here.

Idaho Records Its Lowest-Ever General Election Voter Turnout

elections, voting, vote booth
Emilie Ritter Saunders
/
Boise State Public Radio

This story was updated Nov. 21, 2014 

Idaho's voter participation in this year's general election was the lowest ever.

Secretary of State Ben Ysursa tells the Spokesman Review that nearly 37 percent of Idaho's voting-age population cast a ballot Nov. 4.

Ysursa described the results as "abysmal," and urged the need to turn the number around.

“It was a record year, but not the way we wanted, it’s alarming that we are getting into a cycle of non-voting,” Ysursa told KBSX, “we need to stop it and get more interest and pride in voting.”

Ysursa says it's critical to get young people interested in voting, and get them excited about the process at an early age.

“Hopefully it’s not just disenchantment with the whole process," Ysursa said. "Certainly some of our dysfunction on the national level would lead some to not be too enthused about participation. But we need to change things or rebuild things in people’s minds.”

Idaho's previous low turnout was little more than 40 percent in the last midterm election in 2010.

According to University of Florida professor Michael McDonald, voter turnout lagged across the country in states without competitive top of the ticket races. However, he added that Idaho's low participation was unusual.

Idaho's voter participation is highest during presidential election years. In 2012, more than 57 percent of the state's voting-age population came out to vote.

“Participation is the essence of democracy and when you start getting no participation, I don’t think it’s right, whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, whatever," he said. "We’re all Americans, we’re all citizens and the Republic is much better off when we participate.”