Election Day

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Meet Idaho's New 'Chief of Schools'

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Welcome to the Sherri Ybarra era.

Fresh from her surprise win to become Idaho's new Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ybarra is having a bit of trouble acknowledging exactly what position she has just claimed.

"I want to give a huge thank you to all of my supporters in Idaho for the most humbling experience of my career and life," wrote Ybarra in a prepared statement issued Wednesday morning. "I am honored and proud because they have entrusted me with the position of Chief of Schools and I will do everything I can to defend that trust."

Yes, you read that correctly. Ybarra called herself "Chief of Schools," and went to the trouble of capitalizing that out-of-the-blue title to make sure that we know how to address her from now on.

Ybarra defeated Democratic challenger Jana Jones by approximately 6,000 votes. For the record, the following counties preferred Ybarra over Jones in Tuesday's general election:

Adams (64.5 percent), Bear Lake (75.4 percent), Benewah (65 percent), Bingham (50.9 percent), Boise (61.5 percent), Bonner (60.6 percent), Boundary (67.7 percent), Butte (57.7 percent), Camas (60.2 percent), Canyon (55.9 percent), Caribou (66.4 percent), Cassia (57.2 percent), Clark (56.9 percent), Clearwater (58.9 percent), Custer (61.3 percent), Elmore (61.5 percent), Franklin (75 percent), Fremont (61.4 percent), Gem (65.4 percent), Gooding (53.4 percent), Idaho (69.5 percent), Jefferson (61.1 percent), Jerome (54.8 percent), Kootenai (62.5 percent), Lemhi (66  percent), Lewis (57.9 percent), Lincoln (50.8 percent), Madison (59.9 percent), Minidoka (55.2 percent), Oneida (71.7 percent), Owyhee (70.4 percent), Payette (62.8 percent), Twin Falls (50.6 percent), Valley (50.2) and Washington (63 percent).
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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ada County Voters Turning Out in Record Numbers to Vote Early in Midterm Election

Posted By on Sat, Oct 25, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Voters across Ada County are turning out to the Ada County Elections Office in record numbers to vote early in this year's midterm election.

As of Oct. 24, approximately 4,000 people had cast early ballots. That's 200 more than had voted by this time in the 2010 midterm election, when, in the first 10 days of early voting, 3,800 people had cast their ballots. By the end of early voting in 2010, 7,705 people had cast ballots ahead of election day.

"It's been the highest it's ever been for a midterm election. It's been pretty steady. We expect over the next week it'll amp up," Chief Deputy to the Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane told Boise Weekly on Saturday morning. 

This is the first midterm election in which the Ada County Elections Office has been open on a Saturday. The practice of allowing the public to vote in the office on weekends began in the 2012 presidential election. There are a number of high-stakes elections this year, including those for the Ada County Highway District Board of Commissioners, Idaho treasurer and superintendent of public education. But McGrane pointed out that the surge may not reflect final voter turnout.

"It's a reflection of people shifting in how they're voting," he said.

Residents of Ada County will be able to vote early today between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Ada County Elections Office, located at 400 N. Benjamin Lane in Boise. The early voting process will continue through Friday, Oct. 31.
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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012: The Arc Helps Adults With Disabilities Exercise Their Right to Vote Today

Posted By on Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Polls opened at 8 this morning in southern Idaho as citizens line up to decide how they should be governed and who should have the privilege to govern.

Among Ada County residents in line to cast their ballots today will be some clients of The Arc, which has assisted thousands of adults with disability since 1956.

"Absolutely. There's definitely a heightened awareness among some of our clients this year," Nicole Lang, The Arc's director of programs, told Citydesk. "We have spent a lot time talking about the candidates."

In 2011, Boise Weekly visited The Arc, where Lang shared a story of a 45-year-old woman with a disability.

"She comes from a very strict family with very strict political beliefs," said Lang. "Well, she wanted to vote for a candidate her family didn't approve of. At times, she ended up in tears after some pretty emotional political debates. She did her best to understand the issues and she made her choice. Her family certainly didn't agree with her, but her candidate won. It was the most empowering thing I've ever seen."

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some Oregonians Are Using iPads to Vote

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Advocates for the disabled and elderly are keeping a close eye on today's voting in Oregon, specifically five counties of Oregon where citizens are able to cast their votes with the assistance of Apple iPads. The counties make up Oregon's 1st Congressional District in the the state's northwest corner.

Oregon, which was also the first state in the union to allow voting by mail, allows voters to touch the iPad's screen to pick a candidate. Then the choice is printed and mailed or dropped in an official ballot box. The iPad also lets voters adjust the screen if they're having trouble reading the ballot. Voters whose movements are severely limited can also attach a so-called "sip and puff" device, with which users can use a mouth-controlled tube to activate the iPad.

People with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease have used iPads and other hardware to help communicate in a number of life situations. But voting is something quite new and being watched by states and municipalities across the nation.

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2011 Voter Turnout Expected to be Low

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 9:42 AM

The polls are open until 8 p.m. on this Election Day, which puts primary focus on municipalities.

Of the more than 108,000 registered voters in the City of Boise, only about 35,000 showed up for the last mayoral election in 2007 and approximately 25,000 voted in the last council-only election in 2009. In spite of the fact that four council seats and the office of mayor are up for grabs, turnout is again expected to be low today.

If he is successful today, Mayor Dave Bieter would become only the second man in the city's history to win a third term. But he'll have to get by his opponent, David Hall, a political science student at the College of Western Idaho, who told BW that City Hall was run by "an old boys' club."

The most hotly contested council race is for Seat 2, carrying a two-year term. Ben Quintana, former director of business development for the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, is facing Michael Cunningham, area director for the Boise School District, and Lawrence Johnson, owner of L.W. Johnson Construction Development and a student at Boise State.

Incumbent Council Member David Eberle is defending Seat 3 against David "Pappy" Honey, a veteran of four previous council races. In 2007, Eberle defeated his two opponents combined by more than a 2-to-1 margin.

Council Member Lauren McLean is running unopposed for her first full four-year term in Seat 1. Council Member Elaine Clegg is running unopposed for a third four-year term for Seat 5.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Preview of BW's Untold Election Stories

Posted By on Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 11:25 PM

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Early Votes Being Counted

Posted By on Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 6:00 PM

There's still plenty of time to vote: polls remain open until 8 p.m. in Idaho. Poll watchers told Citydesk that a steady stream of voters have been checking in. Competitive races and a gorgeous fall day helped.

At the Ada County Elections offices, workers are already counting absentee and early ballots (absentee ballots can still be dropped off at the Elections Office until 8 p.m.).

Ballots from polling places across the county are expected to arrive at headquarters beginning at 8:30 p.m. Results will not be released until 9 p.m. to accomodate voting in northern Idaho which continues until 8 p.m. pacific time.

The Citydesk team will be out tonight, covering the unconventional election night stories. Look for our alternative coverage Wednesday morning.

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Posted By on Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Polls are open in the Treasure Valley and across Idaho (south of Grangeville) in the Mountain time zone. Polls will remain open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa (who happens to be up for re-election today) says his poll watchers are predicting a high voter turnout, possibly as high as 60-65 percent.

There are approximately 201,500 registered voters in Ada County, and 8,178 people took advantage of early voting at the Ada Elections office. In addition, 18,081 absentee ballots were returned as of Monday. Elections officials will continue to accept ballots from people personally drop them off at the Elections Office on North Benjamin Lane until 8 p.m.

Some 865 elections workers are on duty across Ada County today, approximately 125 of which will be at election headquarters where they will begin counting absentee and early ballots this afternoon.

Officials with the Idaho District of the U.S. Attorney's Office are on duty today to take complaints of election fraud or voting irregularities. In addition, the FBI is poised to assign agents to handle any complaints of fraud, intimidation, suppression and other election abuses.

In Canyon County last week, at least two issues were raised during early voting. In one case, a ballot was mishandled at a voting station. In another instance, an election worker told at least two early voters that they couldn't sign an affidavit rather than show photo ID. New election laws in Idaho require voters to show ID, but the new rule clearly states that in lieu of ID, a voter may sign an affidavit.

In Northern Idaho, a Bonner County Republican accused a clerk of accepting absentee ballots that arrived in envelopes that had been tampered with. Democratic Bonner County Clerk Marie Scott called the allegation outrageous.

In Boise, voters can report any alleged improprieties with the U.S. Attorney's office at 208-334-1211 or the FBI's local office at 208-344-7843.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Get Ready to Vote

Posted By on Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 3:59 PM

You might have heard that there's an election coming up ... tomorrow in fact. And while you may have spent the last several weeks impulsively changing channels in an effort to avoid the cacophony of political ads, being a responsible citizen means not only getting your butt out and voting, but taking a few minutes to make sure you're an educated voter.

First, you need to know not only the candidates, but also the multiple constitutional amendments being forwarded this year. It's the constitutional amendments that most often get shafted when it comes to coverage, but the Idaho Voters Pamphlet put out by the Idaho Secretary of State's Office is a handy little primer. If you can't find the copy that was mailed to you, you can download it online.

You can also download a copy of the full candidate list for all statewide offices.

Second, you need to know where to vote. If you're not sure of where your polling place is, the Ada County Clerk's Office is ready to help.

Third, once you get to your polling place, you'd better have you photo ID—you'll need it in order to vote thanks to a recent change in the law.

Fourth, make sure to give yourself some time: The ballot is four pages long.

Finally, if you're wondering if it's all too much hassle, remember, that if you don't vote, you don't get to complain.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Absentee Returns In

Posted By on Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 8:33 PM

Polls are closed and the city has posted absentee vote results ... 2,225 people voted absentee, greatly favoring incumbents Vern Bisterfeldt and Maryanne Jordan. And TJ Thomson in the open Seat 4 is up 1,000 votes at the start of the night. Here are the unofficial absentee returns as of soon after 8 p.m.

City Council Seat #2 - Four Year Term

Vernon L. Bisterfeldt1,72080.56%
Daniel L. Dunham279 13.07%
David A. Honey 136 6.37%

City Council Seat #4 - Four Year Term

David S. Litster591 27.05%
TJ Thomson1,59472.95%

City Council Seat #6 - Four Year Term

Lucas Baumbach308 14.23%
Maryanne Jordan1,62675.10%
David Webb 231 10.67%

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