2011 Voter Turnout Expected to be Low


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.

In Meridian, four challengers are attempting to unseat Mayor Tammy de Weerd to run Idaho's third-largest city.

De Weerd is seeking her third term. She is being challenged by Gerry Sweet, former Republican state senator and former staffer for Rep. Bill Sali; Jason Monks, owner of the The Blind Gallery and Valley Medical; Lisa Paternoster, a marriage and family counselor with the Genesis Counseling and Psychological Center; and Randy Pew, owner of Mountainaire Research.

In the ever-growing City of Eagle (current population 19,908), incumbent Mayor Jim Reynolds is fighting off Norm Semanko, Eagle council member and chairman of the Idaho Republican Party.

Citydesk is also keeping a close eye on Ketchum, where a referendum is giving voters the chance to overhaul the City Council and dump the current mayoral form of government in lieu of a city manager, who would report directly to the council.

Make sure that you're in touch with BW and Citydesk through this evening. We'll be tweeting, updating Facebook and filing breaking news at boiseweekly.com with the latest results, interviews and interesting tidbits you won't find anywhere else.