All politics and election news

Idaho voter participation hits record low

As Idaho certified its official election results on Wednesday, a troubling distinction emerged: This year’s election was the first time ever that less than 40 percent of Idaho’s voting-age population cast ballots in a general election. “Frankly, it was disappointing,” said Idaho Secretary of State… Read more

The four most interesting things I learned in 2014 Spokane County elections

4. Voters at Fairchild Air Force Base support expanded background checks for gun sales – resoundingly. Initiative 594 won the precinct at Fairchild 72 votes to 38. On the other hand, maybe they don’t. Voters there also supported Initiative 591, though not by as much… Read more

Sunday Spin3: More on the gun initiatives

In politics, as in military campaigns, victory has many fathers. That may explain the self-congratulatory press release from supporters of I-594… To continue reading this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog. Read more

Sunday Spin2: Did the Ayes have too much of it?

Spokane County voters said yes to both gun initiatives, causing some observers on the West Side of the state to scratch their heads on election night. One could reasonably vote no on I-591 and I-594, they opined, but voting yes twice seemed illogical on measures… Read more

Spin Control: Slim majorities require focus on party discipline

OLYMPIA – The most ephemeral thing in politics might be big majorities. This should be particularly obvious to Democrats as they look to next year’s Legislature. Six years ago, Democrats approached the session with 31 of 49 seats in the Senate and 62 of 98 seats in the House. Those were nearly veto-proof majorities if they’d found the need to override any vetoes from Gov. Chris Gregoire, but considering she was a fellow Democrat, that point was mostly moot. Read more

Sunday Spin: Big majorities are temporary

OLYMPIA – The most ephemeral thing in politics might be big majorities. This should be particularly obvious to Democrats as they look to next year’s Legislature. Six years ago, Democrats approached the session with 31 of 49 seats in the Senate and 62 of 98… Read more

Passage of Riverfront Park bond puts new ice rink on front burner

With the approval of a tax by voters in last week’s election, the future of the Riverfront Park’s Ice Palace is short. But many skaters gliding on the ice last weekend say they won’t miss the rink under the U.S. Pavilion – as long as city leaders follow through on plans to build a new outdoor rink along Spokane Falls Boulevard. Read more

Gun rights activists plan I-594 protest at Capitol

OLYMPIA – Gun rights activists plan to bring their firearms to the Capitol next month to engage in civil disobedience by violating the new background check law that they despise. But there may be a flaw in the plan. What they say they’re going to do – “openly exchange guns” by handing them to someone else – isn’t against Initiative 594, according to Bob Calkins, spokesman for the Washington State Patrol, which provides law enforcement on the Capitol grounds. They won’t be arrested or cited for doing that. Read more

Airway Heights fire levy fails

The Airway Heights Fire Department’s proposed levy to fund emergency medical service has been rejected by voters. Read more

GOP pushing for recounts in two close legislative races

The Idaho Republican Party is encouraging two of its candidates to ask for recounts in elections that they narrowly lost to their Democratic challengers in the Nov. 4 election for legislative seats in north-central Idaho, the Lewiston Tribune reports. Republican state Rep. Thyra Stevenson of… Read more

WA Elex: State races outside recount margin

All of the races for the state Legislature, as well as Initiative 1351 which requires smaller class sizes, are now far enough apart that they wouldn’t trigger an automatic recount, the Secretary of State’s office said this morning. The I-1351 campaign was claiming victory over… Read more

Eye on Boise: Capitol seeks to meet disabilities act with upgrades

Idaho’s state Capitol is due for $400,000 in accessibility upgrades, to bring the renovated historic structure in line with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. They range from new wheelchair-accessible seating areas in the fourth-floor public galleries of the House and Senate, to improved ramps and handrails in various locations, to new signs. Read more

Spin Control: What was the 2014 election all about?

OLYMPIA – A paragraph in the political correspondents’ code requires us to tell voters “what it all means” on the Sunday after an election. Personally, I’ve always believed that by now you’ve all figured it out for yourselves, but to break the code means I could get assigned to some less attractive duty, such as monitoring the police scanner or covering WSU football. So rather than risk packing up the furniture and calling the moving truck, here’s what we learned from the late, great, and sometimes grating, 2014 election: Read more

Newhouse wins seat in 4th District

After the fourth day of ballot counting on Friday, it became certain that Republican Dan Newhouse would be Washington’s newest congressman. Newhouse beat fellow GOP candidate Clint Didier in Washington’s 4th Congressional District in a race that marked the first time in state history that two members of the same party appeared on the fall ballot for a U.S. House seat. Read more

Class-size initiative, I-1351, expands lead again

The state initiative aimed at lowering class sizes increased its lead on the fourth day of ballot counting. The Washington Secretary of State’s website says Initiative 1351 leads by 9,172 votes. After Tuesday’s count, the measure was behind by about 12,000 votes. By Thursday’s count,… Read more

Maurer expands lead over Brandt for county judge

Attorney Aimee Maurer almost certainly will be Spokane County’s newest judge. Read more

Washington lower-class-size initiative, I-1351, tips to Yes

Yes votes for the initiative to lower class sizes took the lead for the first time Thursday evening. Initiative 1351, which would require smaller class sizes and more teachers, was trailing statewide by about 12,000 votes on election night and has advanced since then. Election results posted on the Washington secretary of state’s website Thursday evening showed the measure ahead by 4,660 votes. Read more

Education initiative takes the lead, Mauer expands lead for judge in newest ballot counts

Ballots are still being counted across Washington State, but the yes votes for I-1351 took the lead for the first time Thursday evening. Read more

Election fallout includes big shakeups on some House, Senate committees…

Idaho Reports co-host Melissa Davlin reports that between retirements and incumbents losing in the primary and general elections, there are four committee chair positions up for grabs in the Idaho House and two in the Senate. Plus, some committees will see huge shake-ups: House Appropriations… Read more

Crunching the numbers in the superintendent’s race…

Democratic candidate for state schools superintendent Jana Jones carried nine counties on election night, reports Idaho Education News reporter Kevin Richert reports: Ada, Bannock, Blaine, Latah, Teton, Bonneville, Nez Perce, Power and Shoshone. Republican candidate Sherri Ybarra carried the other 35, in her narrow win…. Read more