Idaho voters turn out in record numbers for presidential election

Published: Nov. 6, 2020 at 3:55 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A record number of Idaho voters participated in the November 3 election. The Idaho Secretary of State’s office is reporting more than 80 percent of the voting population turned out at the polls.

In 2016, 690,255 Idahoans cast ballots for the U.S. President--in 2020, 867,223 Idahoans cast ballots for U.S. President.

That is an increase of more than 175,000 ballots.

According to 2017 data from the U.S. Census bureau, Idaho was the fastest-growing state in the country.

Boise State University Professor Ross Burkhart tells me he does not attribute the larger vote totals to the population growth. He attributes the higher voter turnout this election cycle to higher voter enthusiasm for the candidates.

“People were more excited,” said Burkhart.

“I think this is a high engagement type of election, presidential elections tend to be as well, but this one in particular. I think the ubiquity of Donald Trump on television screens, computer screens, electronics, if you will, made this election really visible and I think people really wanted to participate in it,” he continued.

“The Presidential election was clearly a referendum election on the performance of Donald Trump,” said Burkhart.

Burkhart said he also believes more Idahoans voted this year because absentee ballots became more popular partly due to the pandemic. He said the option to mail in ballots made it easier for people to participate.

Burkhart said he predicts the voter participation rate will remain high in future presidential elections.

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