Redrawn Idaho map is new wrinkle this election season

Oct. 30—Another even-numbered year, another opportunity for the adults in the room to get it right, do their civic duty and elect good people to office.

Aren't you excited?

By this point, the candidates themselves are overjoyed, mainly because the end is in sight. No more parades, county fairs or voter forums. Just another week or so of door-knocking and, on Nov. 8, their fate will be in the hands of voters.

For those who've been a bit tardy in registering to vote, Idaho offers Election Day registration at the polling location in the precinct where the voter lives. That applies to people who are registering to vote for the first time, as well as to those who forgot to update their registration after moving or having a name change.

People can also register in person at the county elections office during the early voting period, which ends Friday.

In Washington, in-person registration can be done at the county elections office up to and including Election Day. People also can register online at, but the deadline for that is midnight Monday.

To register, voters must bring proof of address and a photo ID. They also need to be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and have lived in the state and county for at least 30 days before the election.

Adding to the "excitement" of voting this year, legislative and congressional district boundaries were redrawn based on the 2020 census numbers, to account for population growth.

That won't have much effect on voters in Asotin, Garfield and Whitman counties. Although the district boundaries change at the margins, all three counties remain in the 9th Legislative District and 5th Congressional District.

North central Idaho voters weren't quite as fortunate. They're still in the 1st Congressional District, but the legislative district boundaries have been substantially changed. Counties that previously were in different districts have been combined; others that were in the same district have been separated. In the case of Nez Perce County, it was split between two districts.

The new legislative districts include:

* 2nd Legislative District — Includes all of Clearwater, Benewah and Shoshone counties, as well as eastern Kootenai County and a sliver of southern Bonner County.

* 6th Legislative District — Includes all of Latah and Lewis counties, as well as North Lewiston, a portion of the Lewiston Orchards and the northeastern half of Nez Perce County.

* 7th Legislative District — Includes most of Lewiston and the southern half of Nez Perce County, along with all of Idaho and Adams counties.

Other than Latah County, voters in the region won't find a lot of contested local or legislative races on the ballot this year.

In Garfield County, Sheriff Drew Hyer faces Kurt Miller in his bid for a second four-year term in office. Both candidates are Republicans.

In Whitman County, Commissioner Michael Largent, a Republican, is seeking a third term. He's being challenged by Democrat John-Mark Mahnkey.

In Idaho's 2nd Judicial District, which includes all five counties in the north central part of the state, Magistrate Judge Michelle Evans and retired Judge John Bradbury are hoping to replace Judge Jay Gaskill, who is retiring.

The democratic process is a little more vigorous in Latah County, though, where four county offices are being contested. That includes:

* County commission, District 2, where incumbent Democrat Tom Lamar faces Republican Brian Loomis.

* County commissioner, District 3, where Democrat John Bohman goes up against Republican Carl Berglund.

* Clerk of District Court, which pits Republican Julie Fry against Democrat Alexa Kim.

* County Treasurer, where incumbent Democrat BJ Swanson faces Republican Peggy Gottschalk.

There are no contested legislative races in Washington's 9th Legislative District this year, or in Idaho's 7th Legislative District.

In the Idaho 2nd Legislative District, former Latah County Commissioner Tom Stroschein, a Democrat, faces Republican Dale Hawkins and Libertarian Jennifer Anne Luoma.

All three positions in the 6th Legislative District are being contested. That includes:

* Incumbent Sen. David Nelson, D-Moscow, versus former Sen. Dan Foreman, R-Viola.

* Incumbent Rep. Lori McCann, R-Lewiston, versus Democrat Patricia Carter-Goodheart of Lapwai.

* Incumbent Rep. Brandon Mitchell, R-Moscow, versus Democrat Tim Gresback of Moscow.

A variety of local levy and bond measures are on the ballots this year as well, along with a number of contested state and federal races and a proposed constitutional amendment allowing the Idaho Legislature to call itself back into session.

Spence may be contacted at or (208) 791-9168.