Potential Runoff In This Year's Boise Mayoral Race

Oct 9, 2019

Local elections are less than a month away and competition is heating up. With three front runners up for the Boise mayor seat, a runoff could happen, which would be the first runoff in the race’s history.

 

A runoff happens in the city of Boise if a mayoral candidate does not win more than 50% of the vote in the initial election, then the two candidates with the most votes have another election within 30 days.

 

Though this has never happened in the mayor’s race, the Boise City Council had a runoff in 2003. Three years later, the council voted to get rid of it for its races, but remains a possibility for the mayor’s election.

 

College of Idaho professor Jasper LiCalzi told Idaho Matters yesterday that with seven candidates this year, the race may create the perfect, runoff storm.

"It's not a typical Republican and a typical Democrat and a few fringe people," says LiCalzi. "It's three significant campaigns out there." 

However, he thinks the chances that there will be a second election are slight because in off-year elections, voter turnout is low.

 

If there is a runoff, LiCalzi says even fewer people will show up to the polls. 

 

"We are going to have low turnout when it's an actual election day and people know to vote, unless there is so much enthusiasm about it, people are thinking about turkey and Christmas," says LiCalzi.

 

Local elections will take place on November 5 — a runoff would probably happen either the Tuesday before or after Thanksgiving. 

 

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