Idaho election official apologizes for investigation comment

The Latest on the Idaho primary (all times local):

For the latest election results, click here

9:10 p.m.

  

An Idaho judge has denied an Idaho Democratic Party's request to extend polling hours for two precincts in Ada County, the state's most populous region.

  

Shelby Scott, the party's political director, said Tuesday that the judge ruled the party didn't provide enough sufficient evidence to justify keeping the polls open longer.

  

The party had requested the extension due to high voter turnout and numerous reports of low Democratic ballots across the region.

  

Polls are officially closed in Idaho.

  

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9 p.m.

  

The Idaho Democratic Party has asked a judge to keep two precincts in Ada County open a little longer due to high voter turnout.

  

Election and party officials were still waiting a judge's decision Tuesday evening as polls across Idaho were preparing to officially close.

  

Elections officials in several counties reported higher than average voter turnout, particularly among Democratic voters. Some polling locations requested extra Democratic ballots to keep from running out.

  

Shelby Scott, the Democratic Party's political director, says they expect to hear the judge's decision soon.

  

Scott says they're asking for the polls to stay open until 9:30 or 10 p.m. MST.

  

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7:20 p.m.

  

Poll workers are reporting that some polling locations in Idaho are running low on Democratic ballots due to higher than expected voter turnout.

  

Ada County election officials said Tuesday that they are delivering extra ballots to several polling locations across the state's most populous county. They are encouraging voters to stay in line if their polling location is low or runs out of ballots.

  

Meanwhile, Canyon County spokesman joe Decker told the Idaho Statesman that most precincts are seeing higher-than average turnout.

  

Decker says the county had to send 25 more Democratic ballots to three polling locations because officials were running short. So far, the county hasn't run out of ballots.

  

Over in Blaine County - one of Idaho's few regions where Democrats tend to win   election workers said they were not running low on Democratic ballots.

  

Polls close at 8 p.m.

  

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5:15 p.m.

  

A polling site in Boise broke out in cheers after the 200th ballot of the day was cast.

  

Poll workers at the Boise site on Tuesday said they have had a steady stream of voters coming stopping by to vote, but expected foot traffic to pick up as people got off work.

  

Ada County Chief Deputy Phil McGrane told the Idaho Statesman that in Ada County, the most populous in the state, poll workers were printing more Democratic ballots due to higher than expected turnout.

  

Voter turnout in Idaho has hovered around 25 percent among registered voters in recent primary election cycles.

  

Polls close at 8 p.m.

For the latest election results, click here

  

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1:14 p.m.

  

One polling site in Meridian didn't have any ballots for those wanting to vote in the Democratic primary, but the Idaho Statesman reports an Ada County election official said ballots were brought to the site within the hour.

  

The snafu Tuesday happened at the Treasure Valley Baptist Church. Phil McGrane, chief deputy of the Ada County Clerk's Office, told the newspaper the ballot printer placed a Democratic cover sheet on top of a stack of non-partisan ballots, so poll workers thought they had all the ballots. McGrane said a couple of the voters wanting those waited for the ballots to be delivered.

  

Ada County has 150 precincts, and nearly as many polling sites.

  

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9:03 a.m.

  

In Idaho's primary election voters must select a Republican, Democrat or nonpartisan ballot.

  

Anyone can select a nonpartisan or Democrat ballot, but only people who are registered as Republicans can select the GOP ballot. That's because the Idaho Republican Party closed their primary to non-members four years ago.

  

People can register to vote at the polls, and new or unaffiliated voters can declare themselves Republican at that time if they wish to vote in the Republican primary.

  

But those who are already registered with a different party can't change affiliation at the polls - that deadline was March 9.

  

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8:17 a.m.

With polling stations open across the state, Idaho voters began casting ballots in several competitive and crowded races Tuesday morning.

  

The primary election is particularly important in Idaho, a Republican stronghold where the winners of the GOP primary often goes on to sweep the November general election as well.

  

Lines were short at some polling locations in north Boise just after 8 a.m. Many of the city's polling stations often see their heaviest crowds during the lunch hour and in the early evening, coinciding with traditional office hours.

  

The most competitive and crowded races are for the open seats for governor and the 1st Congressional District, but Idaho's lieutenant governor and state treasurer seats are also up for grabs without an incumbent. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra is hoping to secure a second term against GOP opponent Jeff Dillon.

For the latest election results, click here

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