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ProPublica Online Tool: Ada County Ranks High In Voter Resources

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ADA COUNTY ELECTIONS
  • Ada County Elections


Want to know how your county does at facilitating elections? Thanks to a new online tool from investigative news group ProPublica, you can do just that.

The ProPublica tool, which is part of their Electionland voting project, uses data from the 2012 election and compares county performance to state averages, on a number of election procedures.

Ada County just about mirrors the state in the percentage of voters who turn out out at the polls. But it seems to punch above its weight when it comes to helping voters get the job done. About 63 percent of eligible voters in Ada came out to the polls for the 2012 presidential race. This compares to nearly 61 percent of eligible Idahoans, and 58.2 percent of eligible Americans. And since Ada County houses the majority of Idaho’s citizens, it’s no surprise that turnout matches the state average, says Phil McGrane, Chief Deputy at the Ada County Clerk’s Office. Ada County’s large population sets that statewide curve.

When it comes to having assistance at the polls, or helping military members exercise their vote, Ada County surpasses the state average. The typical polling place in Idaho had an average of 7 poll workers available on election day. Ada County had an average of more than 8.

GEORGE PRENTICE
  • George Prentice
McGrane chalks this up to population. There are more people in Ada County, which means more poll workers. However, not every polling place is created equal: the number of workers assigned depends on the number of voters served in that location.

Overseas service members from Ada County were also slightly more likely to return their ballots than average. In Ada County, 84.6 percent of military voters abroad returned their absentee voting ballots, compared to 81.5 percent statewide.

Again, this comes down to personnel. McGrane says the Ada County elections department has a staff member whose sole job is to coordinate ballots for service members. McGrane says the county deploys a “bunch of methods” to help service members vote from abroad - including, occasionally, emailing ballots if federal guidelines allow.

Step right up and participate in democracy. - ADA COUNTY ELECTIONS
  • ada county elections
  • Step right up and participate in democracy.
Finally, less than one percent of absentee ballots in Ada County were rejected. That’s on par with the state as a whole, but the number is still important because it means that people voting from home can be confident that their ballot really does really count.

Now, there’s a chance that you’ve read through this whole post but you still don’t know how to get out and vote. You're not be alone, according to an analysis by Estately. The website tallied which questions most frequently typed into the search engine over the last five years by state. One of Idaho’s most frequent questions was “How to register to vote?”

Luckily, Idaho is one of 15 states that offers same-day voter registration. All you’ve got to do is find your polling place at IdahoVotes.gov, and show up on November 8 with I.D. and proof of residence.

And yes, same-day registration still works if you’d rather vote early instead.