Voting

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The Idaho House is set to vote Monday on a bill that would move Idaho’s presidential primary from May to March. Lawmakers are considering the change because of a 2012 event.

In the winter of 2012, all eyes were on the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates. And Idaho’s Republican Party didn’t want to wait until the state-run election in May to let party members weigh in.

Republican voters lined up in school gyms across the state for a party caucus. And it was messy.

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.

Your Last-Minute Guide To Voting In Idaho

Nov 4, 2014
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

It's Election Day! Maybe you’ve been closely following the races and you know the issues and how you'll cast your ballot. But maybe you don’t actually know how or where or when to vote.

So, here are a few pieces of information to help you out.

Polls are open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

It’s no secret that young voters are less likely to vote than older voters. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in every presidential election since 1964, 18-to 24-year-olds voted at lower rates than all other age groups. In the last mid-term election, 21.3 percent of 18-to 24-year-olds voted. The number was almost three times higher for those 65 and over.

How Idaho Makes It Harder (And Easier) To Vote

Oct 17, 2014
Frontline.org

In the past few years, Idaho has made it harder for people to vote. In the past few years, Idaho has made it easier for people to vote. Both of those sentences are true according to PBS Frontline.

A recent article from the PBS show’s website features Ballot Watch, an interactive that lists 18 states that made it harder to vote and six states that have expanded voter access.

Idaho is one of only two states to pass laws since 2010 that make it both harder and easier to vote. Rhode Island is the other.

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

Ada County officials say they mistakenly revoked 765 voter registrations and are working to get them restored.  

Ada County Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane tells the Idaho Statesman that workers discovered the mistake Thursday.

He says the revocations happened when workers compared Ada County voter registrations with registrations from 27 other states that's part of a process to remove duplicate registrations.

A federal judge has ruled that the way city council members are elected in Yakima, Washington, disenfranchises Latino voters.

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:

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio/ StateImpact Idaho

Idaho voters Tuesday sent two congressmen back to Washington D.C. They overwhelmingly supported an effort to protect hunting, fishing and trapping by adding an amendment to the state's constitution. 

Voters also cast support for state representatives and senators and at this hour, they appear to have overturned three education laws known as Students Come First. 

Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio/ StateImpact Idaho

Polls in Idaho have closed and ballots are being counted around the state.  Democrats and Republicans have been holding their election parties tonight. The Vote No campaign has held a party as well. That's the group that's pushed to try and overturn what's known as the Students Come First laws.

It's too early to call any of the Idaho races or ballot initiatives. But we have collected some of your tweets and photographs from throughout election night to share.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio/ StateImpact Idaho

Gem State voters choose between Romney, Obama

Idaho voters are getting ready to pick the next U.S. President — and if history is any guide, Gem State voters will throw their support behind Republican Mitt Romney.

Idaho is among the nation's reddest states, and its four electoral votes haven't been awarded to a Democrat since 1964.

Romney is the clear favorite for several reasons.

His candidacy has been championed by some of the state's GOP stalwarts, including Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, who is Romney's state campaign chairman.

Kevin Mooney

What if there was a crystal ball that could reveal the outcome of an election? Turns out modern day campaigns use forecast models to project the winner of a race long before a single vote is counted. 

In vote-by-mail states like Washington or Oregon, political parties and campaigns have an advantage. They can find out on a daily basis if you’ve returned your ballot.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

This election day, the U.S. Department of Justice will have federal attorneys in every state, ready to take complaints. It's a long-standing program aimed at combating election fraud and voter rights abuses. But the hotlines tend to be pretty quiet in the Northwest.

The election day program has been around for decades. But attorneys in Oregon and eastern Washington say -– at least in recent memory -– they haven't gotten any complaints. Western Washington received a few calls in 2008 about voter registration issues.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Voters in Oregon and Washington will start receiving ballots in the mail late this week. This is the first presidential election to be conducted entirely through the postal service in Washington. 

DonkeyHotey / Flickr

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.

Secretary of State

Even though it’s several weeks away, voting officials are gearing up for the November 6 election.  Today  marks the last day for county clerks to print absentee ballots.  Soon, they’ll be in the mail for anyone who wants to vote early. 

Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho voters will soon have a new state-issued voter guide arriving in their mailboxes in the coming weeks. But the information inside hasn’t been fact-checked. 

The Secretary of State’s office – which oversees elections – puts the guide together.  It gets input from both sides of an issue or a race, and then prints what those campaigns submit.  But that material isn’t vetted for accuracy.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Election officials expected low voter turnout on Tuesday. That's due in part to all the changes surrounding this year’s primaries.  That turned out to be true in Idaho's most populous county. Phil McGrane says voter turnout in Ada County was extremely low. “It was 16.74%.”

The Chief Deputy for the Ada County Clerk says that’s lower than normal. “For the past three primaries, in 2010, 2008, and 2006, it’s been just above 21%.”

Three sitting judges will keep their seats after running unopposed in Tuesday's primary.  For those who voted the unaffiliated ballot, their only choice was to vote for Supreme Court Justice Dan Eismann  and Appellate Court Judges David Gratton and John Melanson.  A few people chose the unaffiliated ballot than the Democratic or Republican one. That could be a problem, says Gary Moncrief.  The political science professor at Boise State says fewer people are likely to vote for judges than in the other races.

 

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