AP: Brody Elected To Idaho Supreme Court; Voters Approve HJR5

Nov 8, 2016

Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Latest on Election Day in Idaho (all times local):

10:08 a.m.

Idaho voters have approved a Constitutional Amendment that enshrines lawmakers' legislative veto power.

Idaho lawmakers have been using the legislative veto power to reject administrative rules created by executive branch agencies for years.

The practice was approved by the Idaho Supreme Court 25 years ago.

But federal courts have ruled that a similar veto function by Congress was unconstitutional and some states have deemed it illegal.

That prompted Idaho lawmakers to seek the Constitutional amendment to ensure they would not lose the option in the future.

Key state figures including Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden opposed the initiative.

Idaho voters rejected a similar proposal in 2014.

The amendment had widespread support from lawmakers.

9:33 a.m. Wednesday

Twin Falls attorney Robyn Brody has been elected to the Idaho Supreme Court.

Brody beat Sen. Curt McKenzie in the tight runoff race for the seat being vacated by retiring Justice Jim Jones.

The runoff was triggered because none of the four candidates in the primary election secured more than 50 percent of the vote.

Brody and McKenzie advanced to the general election because they were the top two vote-getters.

An Idaho State Bar survey found Brody was the favorite among fellow attorneys.

She also raised more campaign funds than McKenzie.

McKenzie had won the support of the NRA and Idaho Chooses Life during his campaign.

Both powerful forces in conservative Idaho.

The state's high court justices serve 6-year terms.

11:14 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador has won another victory to represent Idaho's 1 Congressional District by beating Democratic challenger James Piotrowski.

This will be Labrador's fourth term in office.

It could be his last because he has said he would decide after the election whether he will run for governor in 2018.

Observers have said Labrador would be a formidable gubernatorial candidate. Two others have said they will run for governor.

Piotrowski is a Boise attorney who was in his first political race.

The campaign was notable because Piotrowski raised more funds than Labrador in recent months.

Idaho's 1st congressional district includes the northern half of the state and snakes down to the western part of the Treasure Valley. It includes parts of Boise.

10:35 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson has won a tenth term in Idaho's 2nd Congressional District, defeating former Democratic challenger Jennifer Martinez.

The congressional race was one of the quietest in the state.

Martinez was a first-time candidate and works as a community advocate in Twin Falls.

She campaigned little after announcing she was running for the seat.

Neither candidate participated in a statewide debate.

The 2nd District encompasses the eastern half of the state and is home to farms and ranches.

It also has the Idaho National Laboratory nuclear facility and numerous churches and temples representing a strong presence of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

9:01 p.m.

Idaho voters have chosen Donald Trump for president.

The state is a longstanding Republican stronghold, and Trump's strong lead was clear in early returns Tuesday.

So it was no surprise that Trump beat the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Most of the Idaho's GOP establishment supported Ted Cruz in the primary.

But they solidly shifted their support to Trump after the Republican convention despite reservations over claims of sexual assault and harassment of women by Trump.

That gave a boost to Independent candidate Evan McMullin, especially in largely Mormon eastern Idaho.

9 p.m.

Polls have officially closed in Idaho.

Typically voters who are in line and waiting to vote when polls close are still allowed to cast their ballots.

That was the case in some Ada County precincts Tuesday evening, where some voters cast ballots after the 8 p.m. Mountain closing time because they were already waiting in line.

Election officials don't begin counting or reporting voting results, however, until polls across the state reach the official closing time.

Election turnout was expected to be high, according to the Idaho Secretary of State's office. The official turnout numbers likely won't be available for several days, however.

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Republican Sen. Mike Crapo cruised to a fourth term in the ruby-red state of Idaho.

He was among Republicans whose support for Trump began to crumble after a recording emerged of Trump using vulgar terms to describe women and talking about how his fame allowed him to force himself on women.

Crapo first called on Trump to step down after that recording was disclosed but then reversed course and said he would vote for the GOP's presidential nominee.

Crapo was opposed by Democrat Jerry Sturgill, a lawyer and managing director of a financial firm.

8:02 p.m.

Polls have closed in most of southern Idaho, but voting is still underway in northern Idaho and five southern Idaho precincts.

Idaho spans two time zones — Mountain and Pacific — and so election workers won't start counting ballots until the polls have closed across the state, at 9 p.m. Mountain time.

Five precincts in southern Idaho's Ada County also were expected to remain open until 9 p.m. after a federal judge granted the Idaho State Democratic Party's request for an injunction.

The party sought to keep those precincts open later because they said some voters were confused about where to vote after their polling locations changed a few weeks ago.

7:50 p.m.

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney says he is busy counting ballots in northern Idaho.

Denney is working the polls in District 6 in Lewiston. The Republican lawmaker was invited by Nez Perce County Clerk Patty Weeks earlier this year to learn more about the election process.

This is the first election Denney has spent as a poll worker since taking over the office in 2014.

"We have been busy all day and it looks like it will be a long day for me as I will also be observing at the courthouse tonight until all the votes are counted," Denney said.

5:47 p.m.

A federal judge says polls in five Idaho precincts will stay open until 9 p.m., an hour later than the rest of the state.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill made the ruling in response to a lawsuit brought against state and local election officials by the Idaho State Democratic Party. The affected precincts are all in Ada County.

The state Democratic Party sought the emergency injunction earlier Tuesday, saying that voters were having trouble finding their polling location because the sites had been recently moved.

The party contended that the locations were changed too close to the election for voters to get adequate notice. Ada County election officials countered that they had provided notice in the local newspaper and by mail and met the notice requirements of state law.

4:10 p.m.

In its federal lawsuit against Ada County and Idaho state election officials, the Idaho Democratic Party contends that the Ada County Clerk's office didn't give enough notice to voters that five polling places had changed.

The locations were changed roughly two and a half months after Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Gealy England notified Ada County officials that several poll locations didn't meet required standards under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the lawsuit.

The Idaho Democratic Party contends that while some of the locations were changed to accommodate the federal law, others were changed simply for "space issues." The Democrats said those issues should have been anticipated sooner or addressed in a way that didn't require a new location.

Ada County officials, however, have said they gave routine notification about the changed polling places — including ads in the local newspaper — as required by Idaho law. Notices of the change were also mailed to people in those precincts, according to Ada County officials.

A federal judge was expected to hold a hearing on the matter late Tuesday afternoon.

3:45 p.m.

The Idaho Democratic Party has filed a federal lawsuit against the state's most populated county and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney demanding that five polling locations stay open until 10 p.m.

According to the lawsuit, Democratic officials allege that Ada County election staff failed to properly warn voters that a handful of polling places would be changing locations. The party says polls should stay open in case voters need more time to find their new voting sites.

Polling locations close at 8 p.m. in Idaho.

As of 3 p.m., a judge had not weighed in on the request.

2:35 p.m.

Election workers in southwestern Idaho's Payette County were scrambling after a precinct in Fruitland ran out of one type of paper ballots and other precincts began to run low.

Chief Deputy Clerk Julie Anderson said voters at all the precincts still had the option to use the Voter Express ballot system — a smaller paper ballot that slides into a computer terminal, allowing the voter to select his or her choices on a computer screen rather than filling in the ballot by hand.

But Anderson said many voters preferred the traditional paper ballots, prompting some angry phone calls to her office.

Election workers were able to bring additional paper ballots to the Fruitland precinct, and the county had two printing shops print more ballots for all the voting sites.

Anderson said numbers aren't available yet but so far turnout seems to be big. The county had 2000 people vote by absentee ballot this year, compared to just 800 in the last presidential election.