Those Southeast Idaho counties with lots to decide saw high voter turnout

Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal Amber Greening votes in Tuesday’s election as her daughter, Everen, 3 months old, and husband, Morey Burnham, wait in the lobby of Holt Arena in Pocatello.

Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal
Amber Greening votes in Tuesday’s election as her daughter, Everen, 3 months old, and husband, Morey Burnham, wait in the lobby of Holt Arena in Pocatello.

By Journal Staff

Election officials across Southeast Idaho say voter turnout on Tuesday was entirely dependent on what was on the ballot in each county.

In Bannock County, about 30 percent of the 39,000 registered voters cast ballots. Election officials said that was much higher than for an average local election.

Absentee voting was up massively in Bannock County. Normally the county sees about 1,200 residents vote absentee but for this election that number was exceeded by more than 800.

Bannock County election officials said the bond issue to expand the Bannock County jail as well as several contested mayoral and city council elections across the county fueled the high turnout.

Bingham County election officials said a ballot full of contested races and various referendums resulted in high voter turnout there. About 30 percent of Bingham County’s 17,000 registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday.

Bingham County officials said some voting locations saw such a high turnout that they ran out of ballots and more had to be supplied by the county.

Bingham County voters decided several contested mayoral and city council races on Tuesday as well as ballot issues such as whether the county should join the Eastern Idaho Community College district, whether Blackfoot should receive pool upgrades, whether Firth should receive sewer improvements and whether the Snake River School District should receive more money for facility improvements.

In neighboring Power County, a lack of contested races and ballot issues resulted in low voter turnout. Only about 14 percent of Power County’s approximately 1,700 registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday. The only contested races in Power County were for two spots on the Rockland City Council. Interestingly, voter turnout in Rockland for those races was about 46 percent, Power County officials said.