So what percentage of people in Idaho voted? Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa says that’s a hard number to pin down so soon after Election Day.
“It’s difficult to give a turnout figure based on registered voters because we register voters on Election Day, so that’s a moving target,” Ysursa said. “History has shown in a Presidential year, there could be 100,000 to 112,000 who have registered on Election Day.”
Voters around Idaho are heading to the polls this afternoon.
In the state's largest county voting has been smooth so far. That’s according to Phil McGrane, Ada County’s Chief Deputy Clerk. ”Only small issues far, we haven’t had any real challenges to deal with and as far as we know right now there aren’t any strong lines to speak of and people are able to get in and get out relatively quickly.”
Idaho voters who haven't been to the polls in a while may be surprised when they’re asked for photo identification. Idaho’s voter I-D law is only two years old and infrequent voters haven’t encountered it yet.
Everyone who wants to cast a vote in Idaho will be asked the same question.
“When you show up at the polls, you will be asked for photo identification, so don’t be surprised,” says Phil McGrane, Ada County’s Chief Deputy Clerk.
The law recognizes several forms of photo ID. They include:
Early voters in Idaho's largest county are turning out in droves this year. The process started Monday and hasn’t slowed down yet in Ada County.
Ada County Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane was expecting a big voter turnout for this election, but not this big. “Someone said we opened the fire hydrant and it just hasn’t stopped. People are showing up in record, record volumes for early voting this election.”
The mountain lion’s future is uncertain. Evin Oneale is with Idaho Fish and Game. He says it will all depend on the situation. He says cougars come into the city all the time, but usually they pass through and are never seen by people.
He says this lion may be young and looking for territory. It may also have followed deer which have been pushed into the area thanks to a dry summer and fall.
Last Friday was a big day for county clerks in Idaho. They mailed out the first round of absentee ballots for the November general election.
In Ada County, 9,274 absentee ballots were mailed to voters last week. Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane calls it the kickoff to the November election. “We’ve received close to 500 absentee requests each day in the recent days, absentee ballots are pushing themselves pretty hard for this election.”
A woman from Twin Falls has tested positive for the West Nile Virus. It’s the first confirmed case in Idaho this year.
Dave Fotsch of the Central District Health Department says mosquitoes tested positive in Ada, Canyon, and Payette counties. According to the Ada County Weed, Pest, and Mosquito Abatement website, the virus has also been found in west Boise.
Fotsch says West Nile’s peak year came in 2006, with almost one-thousand confirmed cases and 23 deaths. Since then, Fotsch says it’s tapered off, with only three cases last year.
Ada County Commissioner Dave Case grilled executives from Dynamis Energy Friday morning. The Eagle-based company wants to build a plant at the Ada County landfill that would turn trash and tires into electricity. Case, though, failed in his attempt to bring an end to the county’s contract with Dynamis.
Ada County Commissioners want answers from the CEO of a company that plans to create energy from garbage. A citizens group has accused the County and Dynamis Energy of fraud. Commissioners have called a meeting on the project for Friday morning.
Eagle-based Dynamis Energy plans to convert garbage to electricity at the Ada County Landfill. County Commissioners gave the go ahead for the project about two years ago. They also provided the company with $2 million for design work, but the project is now behind schedule.
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%.”
In District 14, the Senate primary pitted two high profile candidates against one another. Representative Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian) faced a former lawmaker, Stan Bastian of Eagle. Hagadorn won last night in the primary and will likely take his place as Senator after the November election.
Hagadorn says he wants to build on the tax cuts the legislature passed this year. “So I want to continue on that, work on personal property tax. And try and reduce that burden for business. Cause right now everything is about the economy and jobs. Anything else is noise around that.”
It was a three-way Democratic race for House Seat A in Boise’s District 19. In the end, Matthew Erpelding took home enough votes to win the primary. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to go into the Legislature and work and write and see things from behind the scenes and be involved in trying to push forward what I think is progressive and intelligent policy.”
County election headquarters around Idaho are busy places ahead of tomorrow’s primary - especially in Ada County. The state’s most populous county re-did its Election Headquarters after the last Presidential Election. Samantha Wright took a tour to find out how your vote gets counted in Ada County.
Now that the Idaho Republican Party has opted for a closed primary, voters will encounter some big changes at the polling booth. Elections officials are trying to explain the new format to the public, and prepare workers for questions on voting day. Lots of questions.
Helen Robins is gearing up for Election Day. She’s petite, energetic, and she laughs a lot. She’s been a poll worker and a Chief Judge, that’s the person in charge at a precinct. “I think I’ve seen it all…”