Primary Election Changes
There are a lot of changes in this year’s primary that will have a big effect on election results. The legislative district lines were re-drawn for this election cycle, changing polling places, who lawmakers represent and, in some cases, pitting incumbents against each other. But political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby tells Idaho’s News Channel Seven that redistricting will be a factor but it won’t be the most influential element in the primaries on Tuesday. For the first time ever, the Idaho Republican party will hold a closed primary, meaning you will have to register as a Republican if you want to vote for GOP candidates. Weatherby said that hurts moderate Republicans. Those very conservative Republicans will also be voting on a number of school and fire levies around the state, which could be bad timing for levy supporters. Weatherby said the closed primary will also drive down voter turnout. Redistricting could have a hand in that too. Many analysts are expecting a historic night on Tuesday for people not showing up to the polls. He says Idaho only sees about 17 percent turnout in primaries for eligible voters. It could be even lower this year. But if you don’t claim a party, and there’s no levies in your area, there’s not much reason for you to vote in the primary.