Gem State Roundup

Results of Idaho Democratic gubernatorial primary election not expected until next week

By: - May 17, 2022 8:31 pm
Voters cast ballots in the primary election

Voters cast their ballots at Fairmont Junior High during the Idaho Primary on May 17, 2022. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

Idahoans may not know who wins the 2022 Democratic gubernatorial primary election for a week or more, state elections officials told the Idaho Capital Sun early Tuesday night. 

The Idaho Secretary of State’s Office does not plan to publish the breakdown of write-in votes by candidate for that race when it releases election results tonight, Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck said. 

This year, only one Democratic gubernatorial candidate qualified to appear on the ballot: Stephen Heidt of Marsing. But two others candidates are running write-in campaigns, including Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad and David Reilly, a former radio host who has a history of making anti-Semitic remarks

Elections officials must count each write-in ballot by hand, Houck said. Not only do they have to separate Rognstad’s and Reilly’s votes, they must also separate out the inevitable write-in votes for Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or anyone else who didn’t qualify as a write-in candidate. 

Because of all that, Idahoans may not know until counties certify and report their election results, which are due May 24. Even then, results still won’t be official until the State Board of Canvassers conducts its canvass and certifies election results by June 1. 

It is possible Idahoans would know who wins if the total number of votes Heidt receives is more than the total number of aggregate write-in votes cast. 

Otherwise, it could be about a week.

The winner of the Democratic gubernatorial primary election will advance to the Nov. 8  general election to square off against the winner of the Republican gubernatorial primary and third party and independent candidates.



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Clark Corbin
Clark Corbin

Clark Corbin has more than a decade of experience covering Idaho government and politics. He has covered every Idaho legislative session since 2011 gavel-to-gavel. Prior to joining the Idaho Capital Sun he reported for the Idaho Falls Post Register and Idaho Education News. His reporting in Idaho has helped uncover a multimillion-dollar investment scam and exposed inaccurate data that school districts submitted to the state.