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.”
Since 2004, primary election turnout in Idaho has averaged around 25 percent. This May, 24 percent of registered voters turned out.
General elections see a greater turnout, when roughly 60 percent of registered voters show up at the polls. During presidential elections, that figure can increase by 10 or 15 percent.
“We’re very confident that we will have a good voter turnout," says Ysursa. "Now what’s a good voter turnout in our general elections? In the last Presidential elections we were right around 77 percent of registered voters turned out. So we’re expecting the same, hopefully a little better.”
Besides the presidential race, Ysursa thinks referenda on the Students Come First education reform laws will also draw more voters to the polls.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio