Elections

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Secretary of State Denney
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney says he's running for re-election in 2018.

Denney announced that he plans on running for another four-year term Wednesday. Currently, no other candidate is running for the seat.

Denney, a Republican, was first elected to the position in 2014 after serving nearly 20 years in the Idaho Legislature — including being a former House Speaker for three terms.

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Entrance Steps Bell
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

As the Idaho Legislature wraps up its second week, lawmakers have introduced around 30 bills so far.

Boise State University Political Science Professor Gary Moncrief says that’s a little below normal, but we’ll see a lot more bills next week.

Right now, lawmakers are looking at a change to the Primary Election system in Idaho. They also want to make sure liquor licenses get used for selling booze instead of as investments. And Democrats had a suggestion for getting more teachers into rural schools.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Elections officials in one Idaho county have found a delicious new way to get out the vote: by bringing "food truck voting" straight to the people.

OK, so it's not a real food truck. You can't get a meal there.

Doby / NPR

A voice heard regularly on NPR is headed to Boise this week.

Mara Liasson, a political correspondent at NPR, will headline Wednesday night’s annual gala for the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce. Liasson has made a career of covering national politics. This year’s presidential campaign is her seventh.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho was no small-potatoes for Ted Cruz after winning Tuesday's Republican presidential primary in the Gem State.

Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, beat out Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich and added a seventh state to his win tally in the 2016 race for the White House.

"Idahoans are looking for more substance," said state Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell. "(Trump) tends to skim the issues. It's harder for him to make those inroads in Idaho. We've been about conservatism for a lot longer than he has."

Mayor David Bieter
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

2015’s city elections in Boise will go down as ones lacking drama. Boise’s longtime Mayor, David Bieter, racked up nearly 70 percent of the vote on his way to a fourth term. City council incumbents Elaine Clegg, Scot Ludwig and Lauren McLean  won by large margins as well.

The city’s $10 million open space preservation levy was also an easy winner, gaining the support of nearly 75 percent of those who voted on the issue. The new levy will add open space in areas around the city, as well as fund restoration projects along the Boise River.

In its heyday, the central Idaho town of Clayton boasted a population of a few hundred people, thanks to the mining industry. But according to the 2010 census, the population dropped to a mere seven people. Despite its size, the town today will hold elections for mayor and city council.

Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Races for Boise mayor, city council and a conservation initiative headline Tuesday’s ballot in Idaho’s largest city.

Polls across Idaho open at 8 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.

Perhaps the biggest decision facing Boise voters in Tuesday’s election is not city council or mayoral candidates, but a two-year, $10 million property tax levy for open space protection and water conservation. Unlike a similar levy Boise voters approved in 2001, the latest would not limit purchases to the foothills.

Chairman Of Idaho's Democratic Party To Step Down

May 26, 2015
IDP

Idaho’s Democratic Party will soon be under new leadership. The party announced Tuesday that Chairman Larry Kenck will resign effective May 29.  Kenck says health issues are forcing him to leave his post two years before his term expires.

The party’s vice chair, Jeanne Buell, will take over as acting chair until June 13.  The state central committee will then select a new chair to serve the remainder of Kenck’s term. The party says Buell will oversee the search for Kenck’s replacement.

An Idaho city may have to redo its school board election after officials found problems with ballots in one district.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the Canyon County Elections Office announced Wednesday that there was a problem with five ballots in Tuesday's election. The incumbent was re-elected by only four votes.

Canyon County Clerk Chris Yamamoto says five ballots for Caldwell School District Zone 2 elections were incorrectly issued to Zone 1 voters, who did not have an election.

Idaho Capitol Senate
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Idaho Republicans want a bigger say in the 2016 presidential election cycle. A bill that would move Idaho’s presidential primaries up two months, into March, passed the state Senate Tuesday.

Republican State Sen. Jim Rice says the whole point of elections is to let the voice of citizens be heard.

“And there is no citizen who is not impacted by the president of the United States. None,” Rice says.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Republican Sherri Ybarra says her at-times bumpy campaign for Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction is a result of increased public scrutiny on a political newcomer. But the school administrator from Mountain Home says she understands the focus that's on her comes with a run for public office.

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.

screen grab from umn.edu/cspg/smartpolitics

Idaho gets a C+ for the percentage of women it elects to Congress in a new election gender equality report card from the University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics blog. The site, dedicated to data-driven political reporting, looked at all the U.S. House races for the past 25 years.

Watch: Small Town Idaho Mayor Keeps His Job By Coin Toss

Nov 15, 2013
Albion, Mayor
Ed Glazar / Times-News

Don Bowden will remain the mayor of tiny Albion, Idaho after winning a tie-breaking coin toss. Bowden and his challenger, John Davis, each received 60 votes in the Nov. 5 election. Fewer than 300 people live in Albion.

Incumbent Bowden won the right to call the coin, and he picked tails.

Video courtesy of KMVT-TV

Bill and Melinda Gates have each contributed $25,000 to the campaign to require background checks for most gun sales in Washington.

Idaho quarter, coin toss
Budgiejen / Flickr Creative Commons

John Davis says he is not a gambler. In all his 73 years he doesn’t recall having won anything from a coin toss.

“I think I won a bottle of after shave lotion at the carnival one time, throwing horse shoes or something,” Davis says.

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. 

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