Rep. Judy Boyle (R, Midvale) stands on the House floor at the Idaho Capitol on Jan. 17, 2022. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)
Idaho Republican Rep. Judy Boyle’s narrow primary election victory over fellow Republican Rep. Scott Syme was confirmed Thursday night following a three-day recount that played out in three counties this week.
The recount upheld the outcome of the May 17 Republican primary election for Legislative District 9, Seat B in the Idaho House of Representatives, which was the closest legislative primary race in the state this year.
The recount showed Boyle, R-Midvale, defeated Syme, R-Caldwell, by a margin of 4,636 to 4,630. That is the same result as the original election results released May 17 and certified by the state June 1, which showed Boyle defeated Syme by six votes.
Boyle could not be reached for comment.
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Syme requested the recount in writing from the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, and as outlined in Idaho law, the state covered the cost because the original margin of victory was less than .1%. Boyle and Syme’s race was the only legislative race this year that was close enough to qualify for a recount paid for by the state.
The Idaho Attorney General’s Office has not received any other recount requests, spokesman Scott Graf said Thursday night.
On June 10, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden issued orders for ballot recounts for Boyle and Syme’s race in Canyon, Washington and Payette counties. The respective county sheriffs then sequestered the ballots and delivered them for the recounts, which began Tuesday in Canyon County, continued Wednesday in Washington County and wrapped up Thursday night in Payette County.
The recounts were conducted in three counties because District 9 includes all of Payette and Washington counties and a portion in Canyon County. The recount was conducted over three days so that the candidates could witness the recount in each county.
Heading into the recount, Syme told the Idaho Capital Sun he would accept the results of the recount either way.
“Our elections are safe and secure,” Syme told the Sun in a message Thursday after watching two days worth of recounts.
Boyle’s primary election victory paves the way for her to be re-elected to an eighth term in the Idaho House. By winning the primary election, Boyle advances to the Nov. 8 general election, where she will run unopposed. There is no Democratic, independent or third party candidate running against Boyle for the seat.
During the two most recent legislative sessions, Boyle served on the House Education Committee, House Agriculture Affairs Committee and the House Resources and Conservation Committee. Boyle also often serves as a leading Republican sponsor of gun rights and firearms bills, including Senate Bill 1262 from the 2022 session, which adds protections for firearms and gun businesses during a declared emergency.
The 2022 elections are extremely important in Idaho because all statewide offices, including governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and superintendent of public instruction are all up for election this year, along with all 105 seats in the Idaho Legislature. Regardless of the specific results in November’s general election, Republicans are again guaranteed to control a majority in the Idaho Legislature in 2023 because Democrats aren’t running candidates in most legislative races.
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Following the general election, legislators will convene in Boise for an organizational session in December where new committee assignments will be handed out and legislators will vote on legislative leadership positions, including electing a new speaker of the House.
The 2023 legislative session is scheduled to begin Jan. 9
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