LOWEST VOTER TURNOUT IN IDAHO IN FIFTY YEARS
When the Board of Canvassers meets on Wednesday November 17th they will put the official stamp on an election that has been noted for a wave election in favor of Republican candidates. Behind the headlines is the fact that 2010 is the lowest voter participation rate in a Governor’s race dating back fifty years.
Less than forty percent of Idaho’s voting age population participated in the 2010 election, a drop of three percent from the 2006 election. The chart above shows the total vote in the Governor’s race, consistently the contest that attracts the most votes. Total participation (number of ballots cast) is usually 1.5% higher than the Governor’s race.
Over the long haul there has been an unmistakeable erosion in voter participation interrupted only by big election years like 1986 and 1994. But in the past three gubernatorial election years 1998 - 2006 participation was fairly stable.
Despite reporting that alleged a large voter turnout for 2010, one that focused on a percentage of registered voters and not all people of voting age, the outcome of the election should be regarded not only as a “wave” election that benefitted Republican candidates, but also one where more people decided to skip it.