Election Day

A voter receives a “I voted” sticker after casting their ballot at the Idaho Falls Public Library on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

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Idaho set a modern record for voter turnout this year, and a couple of eastern Idaho counties had some of the highest voter turnout in the state.

The state's Board of Canvassers, which consists of Secretary of State Lawerence Dennney, Controller Brandon Woolf and Treasurer Julie Ellsworth, has completed its canvass of the November 2020 vote, Denney's office announced Wednesday.

The canvass certified Wednesday shows 878,527 Idahoans, or 81.2% of 1,082,417 registered voters, voted. The counties with the highest turnout were Fremont at 88.1%, Kootenai at 87.4%, Butte at 86.3% and Idaho County at 85.1%. Out of those votes, 493,719, or 56.2%, were cast early or absentee, with the rest on election day.

“State and county election officials and workers are to be commended for their dedication, patience, and flexibility in staging a successful general election under the challenging circumstances of a global pandemic,” Denney said in a statement. “Idahoans cast a record number of ballots, a record number of which were early or absentee ballots, and produced the highest percentage voter turnout we have seen for any election this century.”

Turnout in number of voters ended up being a bit higher than the 868,000 to 875,000 elections officials estimated immediately after the election, although a bit lower percentage-wise, apparently due to a higher number of registered voters. Still, 81.2% is a record for the past 20 years at least, with the next-highest being the 2008 presidential election, when 77% of registered voters turned out. Like elsewhere in the country, early and absentee voting skewed more Democratic in many counties than the final results, while in-person voting on Election Day skewed more Republican.

Official results, including county-by-county numbers and historical data, will be posted online soon on the Elections Division page of sos.idaho.gov.

Reporter Nathan Brown can be reached at 208-542-6757. Follow him on Twitter: @NateBrownNews.