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Voter Turnout Varies Efforts To Increase Participation Help A Little

Thu., Nov. 9, 1995

In Tensed, they know how to get out the vote.

Sixty-six of the city’s 70 registered voters - more than 94 percent - cast a ballot in Tuesday’s hotly contested races for mayor and council seats.

“That’s the highest we’ve had,” said City Clerk Mary Middleton. “It’s fantastic, especially since some of those who didn’t show are deceased or moved.”

Turnout was also high in Spirit Lake, where City Clerk Barbara Brown estimated that about 50 percent of the city’s voters went to the polls.

Elsewhere in North Idaho, however, voter turnout wasn’t quite so good. Turnout was only 15 percent in Coeur d’Alene, considerably lower than 1993, when the mayor’s race drew out 34 percent of those registered to vote. Still, it wasn’t as bad as 1991, when only 11 percent voted.

Post Falls voting stayed steady at 23 percent, identical to the turnout two years ago.

Kootenai County elections coordinator Deedie Beard said the new “Kids Voting” program didn’t seem to drive up numbers much.

The program, designed to boost voter turnout, lets students cast mock ballots with their parents.

“This is their first year,” said Beard. “According to the states that have Kids Vote, it does raise their numbers. We’ll see.”

Also, she said, the snowy weather definitely dampened turnout.

In Hayden, a fairly close mayoral race pushed turnout to 21 percent, double the turnout in 1993.

City Clerk Lila Truesdell said Kids Voting also brought in many voters.

“It helped out a lot,” she said. “We had a lot of kids here.”

Same-day registration, which began last year, also increased turnout, Truesdell said. In Hayden, 45 people registered to vote and cast their ballots Tuesday.

In other voting, two Moscow City Council members were re-elected in Tuesday’s municipal election.

Marshall H. Comstock was the top vote-getter, winning 1,590 votes.

Incumbent Pam Palmer also won re-election with 1,446 votes.

Tom LeClaire won the third open council seat, receiving 1,273 votes.

Candidates not elected were Mark Leeper and Gary F. Young with 1,148 and 1,141 votes, respectively.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: Voter turnoff?

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