Elections

coin, quarter, coin toss
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The next mayor of a small southern Idaho town will be decided with a flip of a coin.

Albion city clerk Mary Yeaman told The Times-News that votes were evenly split for Don Bowden and John Davis in Tuesday's election, so she will be flipping a coin to break the tie.

The date for the coin toss hasn't been set, though state election law says it should be done during a meeting held within about a week of the election. Yeaman, who has been clerk for 12 years, says she's never had to break a tie before.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise’s mayor says he’s disappointed that the two bond proposals failed in his city Tuesday, but he’s also encouraged by how many residents voted for the measures. 

Washington voters have rejected an initiative to require labels for foods with genetically modified ingredients.

Hailey airport
BigDubya / Flickr Creative Commons

Residents in Ketchum and Hailey have decided to raise city taxes to subsidize commercial airline service.  

The decision green lights a 1 percent sales tax on lodging and rental cars. Ketchum's vote also adds a 1 percent retail sales tax. Groceries and gas, however, won't be included in this. 

Election Sign
Glenn Mosely

Election day in Idaho saw a few shakeups for some incumbent mayors. That was the case in Ketchum, where mayor Randy Hall lost to challenger Nina Jonas.  

The same thing happened in Nampa where voters had four mayoral candidates to pick from. They elected Bob Henry as Nampa’s new mayor over incumbent Tom Dale.

Meanwhile, Moscow’s mayor Nancy Chaney is out of a job as voters selected challenger Bill Lambert as the town’s new mayor. That race was dominated by concerns over economic growth in the city that is home to the University of Idaho.  

DieselDemon / Flickr Creative Commons

A ballot measure in the Sun Valley area is emblematic of the challenges facing small airports across the West. Residents of Hailey and Ketchum, Idaho decide Tuesday whether to raise city taxes to subsidize commercial airline service.

Voters in the neighboring Idaho resort towns are being asked to raise the lodging and rental car tax, and in the case of Ketchum add a 1 percent retail sales tax, although groceries and gas would be exempt from the higher tax.

Butch Otter
Idaho Statesman

The Republican Party Central Committee rejected a plan Saturday that would ask party officials to vet GOP primary election candidates. The group met in McCall Saturday. 

The plan came from former Senate Majority Leader Rod Beck, as a way to pressure GOP candidates into adhering more to the wishes of their local party leaders.

But dozens of other Republicans including House Speaker Scott Bedke, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs objected to it.

rustybrick / Flickr

More polling spots for early voters. Online registration.   These are some of the proposals Idaho democrats in the legislature unveiled today.

It’s called the Voting Opportunity and Trustworthy Elections, or VOTE, initiative.  Sen. Elliot Werk (D-Boise) says it’s time to update the way Idaho holds elections.  “The horse and buggy elections of our founders day simply do not work in today’s society.” 

Here’s how this five-part plan breaks down:

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

There’s a definite trend with voter turnout in Idaho.  Primaries bring out fewer people. General Elections bring out more. And Presidential years attract the most voters. This year should be no exception.

There were more than 750,000 registered voters in Idaho during this year’s May primary.  But a vast majority of those stayed home.  

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa says that’s pretty typical. “The primary turnout, and this one was abysmal, the last one we had, but the primary turnouts are in the mid-20’s to 30 percent of registered voters.” 

Senator Crapo's Office

The U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday to reject a Montana law that bans direct corporate spending on state political campaigns. 

U.S.  Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) said Tuesday the Court’s decision dealt a blow to state sovereignty.  "I believe it should have gone the other way and it should have supported the state of Montana."

Montana’s one hundred-year old law conflicts with a U.S. Supreme Court decision called Citizen’s United that allows unlimited corporate spending in federal campaigns. 

Idaho Secretary of State's Office

Idaho’s recent primary elections will likely hit a historical low with 23 % of registered voters casting ballots.  The closed Republican primary confused some people and may have kept others from voting Tuesday. 

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

Tuesday's primaries in Idaho mark the beginning of a new way of voting in the state. The Republican Party closed its primary. That means voters must declare their political affiliation before they can cast a ballot.  Scott Ki visited polling sites in Boise and Meridian to find out how today's primaries are going. 

There aren’t many voters coming out to cast ballots in the state’s first closed primary.  Phil Mcgrane, Chief Deputy of the Ada County Clerk's Office says, "The one big thing of note is that turn out seems to be low."

Big Dubya / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho is now one of more than 30 states that has a closed or semi closed primary. For the first time Tuesday voters must declare a party affiliation before casting a ballot. That presents an ethical dilemma for some people who want to remain non-partisan including journalists.

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