TWIN FALLS — Only one in 10 registered Twin Falls County voters cast a ballot in the March 12 election.
South-central Idaho’s other five counties with an election saw a similar voter turnout rates. For this election, school district bonds or supplemental levy renewals were the only item on ballots.
Historically, elections with only school measures tend to have a lower turnout than May primary or November general elections. Voter turnout Tuesday was fairly typical for a school election, county officials said Wednesday.
“It’s usually not a good turnout, sad to say, for these school levies when they’re just by themselves,” Gooding County deputy clerk Jackie Fuqua said.
Voter turnout for Tuesday’s election ranged from 7.1 percent in Jerome County to 20 percent in Minidoka County. Cassia County turnout numbers weren’t available Wednesday.
School districts have four election dates to choose from each year. On Tuesday, ballot measures were: Cassia County School District’s $56.7 million bond (failed), Minidoka County School District’s $21 million bond (failed), Filer School District’s $9.9 million bond (failed), Twin Falls School District’s two-year, $5 million annual supplemental levy (passed), Murtaugh School District’s $2 million bond (passed), Jerome School District’s two-year, $800,000 annual supplemental levy (passed), Gooding School District’s two-year, $650,000 annual supplemental levy (passed), Camas County School District’s two-year $300,000 annual measures — a $250,000 annual supplemental levy and a $50,000 annual levy for music programs (passed), and Hansen School District’s two-year, $290,000 supplemental levy (passed).
On Tuesday, 10.54 percent of Twin Falls County’s registered voters cast a ballot — 2,901 participating voters out of 27,534 registered.
“It was about what we were expecting,” Twin Falls County elections director Valerie Varadi said.
By comparison, Twin Falls County voter turnout was 9.8 percent during the March 2018 election and 10.6 percent in March 2017. There’s some variation in the turnout for different communities and individual polling places.
Gooding County had a 12.61 percent voter turnout rate, with 344 ballots cast out of 2,729 registered voters.
County officials always look at turnout numbers from past elections to determine how many ballots to order, Fuqua said.
Two years ago when the Gooding County School District was also seeking supplemental levy renewal, “the numbers were pretty similar,” she said.
Voter turnout information wasn’t yet available Wednesday in Cassia County. Election results will be canvassed Monday by Cassia County Commissioners and voter turnout information will be available after that, Cassia County elections director Susan Keck said.
Minidoka County had the highest voter turnout in the Magic Valley — 20 percent. Of 7,689 registered voters, 1,535 cast a ballot.
Camas County’s turnout was 19 percent — 136 voters participated out of 722 who are registered.
Jerome County had the lowest turnout — 7.1 percent for the Jerome School District supplemental levy election.