Elections in Idaho
|Elections in Idaho|
Some type of election in Idaho occurs annually in each of the state’s cities and towns, the exact type of which is dependent on the year. Elections for federal and statewide offices occur in even-numbered years, while municipal elections occur in odd-numbered years.
Offices elected by the people of Idaho
- President: The state of Idaho is currently apportioned four United States Electoral College members in presidential elections. This number of presidential electors is subject to change based on the results of the decennial United States Census, but has remained unchanged in Idaho since 1912. In the 2008 election, John McCain received the majority of votes cast for president in the state, thus winning the state’s four electoral votes.
- United States Senate: As with all U.S. states, Idaho elects two members to the United States Senate. The current Senators elected from Idaho are Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, both Republicans. Senators serve six-year terms. The most recent U.S. Senate election in the state occurred on November 8, 2016. The next U.S. Senate election in Idaho will occur in 2020.
- United States House of Representatives: Idaho currently has two Congressional districts, each of which elects one member to the United States House of Representatives. The state's incumbent House members, Raúl Labrador and Mike Simpson, are both Republicans. Representatives serve two-year terms. The most recent Congressional elections took place in the state on November 8, 2016.
- Governor and Lieutenant Governor: The governor and lieutenant governor are elected to four-year terms in the next even-year election cycle that follows a presidential election. The offices are contested separately. The current Governor of Idaho is Butch Otter, a Republican, who took office in 2007. His lieutenant is Brad Little. The most recent election for these offices occurred on November 4, 2014.
- Constitutional Officers: The Constitutional Officers of the state are composed of the state Attorney General, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer and Superintendent of Public Instruction. Idaho also previously elected an Inspector of Mines, but that office was last contested in 1966 and abolished. All are elected to four-year terms in the same cycle as gubernatorial elections. The incumbent officers are all members of the Republican Party.
- Idaho Legislature: The Idaho Legislature is the state’s bicameral state legislature. It is composed of two houses:
- Idaho Senate: The Idaho Senate is the upper house of the state legislature. There are 35 state senatorial districts in the state, each which elects one member to the Senate. The full Senate is up for election every two years. The most recent election was held on November 8, 2016.
- Idaho House of Representatives: The Idaho House of Representatives is the lower house of the state legislature. There are 35 state house districts in the state, each which elects two members to the House. The full House is up for election every two years. The most recent election was held on November 8, 2016.
- Idaho Supreme Court: Idaho Supreme Court justices are elected in nonpartisan elections. Justices hold office for a period of four years and are elected at primary elections in May. The most recent elections for Idaho Supreme Court justices were held on November 8, 2016.
- Referendum and Initiative: Referendum and initiative proposals which qualify for ballot status are voted upon at the next general election on an as-needed basis. State constitutional amendments passed by the Idaho Legislature must be ratified by popular vote in a similar manner.
- County officials: Each of Idaho's 44 counties elects a similar form of county government. Elected county government officials are composed of a three-member county commission, clerk, treasurer, sheriff, assessor and prosecutor. County commissioners are elected to alternating two- and four-year terms while other county officers are elected to four-year terms.
- Precinct committeepersons: Each voting precinct elects a Republican and Democratic precinct committeeperson for two-year terms at the May primary elections. These committeepersons serve on the county-level central committee for their respective political party organizations.
Elections for local government include elections for municipal leadership positions (such as mayor), legislative bodies (such as a city council), and other elections for various municipal positions, boards and commissions, as governed by each municipality’s respective ordinances. Of the 200 incorporated cities in the state, all hold municipal elections in odd-numbered years, and most hold them on the traditional election day in November. Most Idaho cities utilize a mayor-council form of government. Lewiston, McCall and Twin Falls are the only Idaho cities which have a council-manager government.
Idaho began registering voters by political party for the first time in July 2011. Beginning in 2012 the state's Republican primary is an open primary, in which only electors registered as Republicans can vote in that primary election. Idaho's Democratic primary remains a caucus.
Idaho voters may register in the Republican, Democratic, Libertarian or Constitution Parties, or may choose to decline party preference and register as "unaffiliated." Idaho allows same-day registration as well as party affiliation changes at both the primary and general elections.
Recent and upcoming elections
- Presidential: 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016
- Senatorial: 1998, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2020, 2022
- Congressional: 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018
- Wells, Michael. "Lewiston's manager system challenged often, Twin Falls stays quiet", McCall Star-News, July 16, 2009. (accessed 15 February 2012)
- Idaho Primary Election - 2012 (accessed 14 February 2012)