City Government

SW Boiseans Sent Out Of Town To Vote

Boise has a new ordinance giving preference to local vendors, but apparently that doesn’t apply to polling places. According to the latest information on the city website, they are sending people out of town to vote–but only in two southwest Boise precincts.
If that sounds peculiar, take a look at the City Limits map and note the red dot which is south of Victory Road between Cole and Maple Grove Roads. That is the Boise School District “Service Center” which–according to city website maps– is OUTSIDE THE BOISE CITY LIMITS! It is also the designated polling place for the newly combined precincts 94 and 95 which are both north of Victory in the city. The polling place for the precincts is not even within the precincts. The easy fix is to admit defeat and designate Maple Grove School as the polling place since it is almost dead center in the two precincts.

This City Council election is taking on comical aspects which no doubt are causing major headaches for both the city clerk and the Ada County Elections office which is running the city election on a contract basis.

First, the clerk combined precincts 92 and 81 and came under fire from council candidate Lucas Baumbach who claimed the consolidation was a conspiracy against conservative voters. Thursday they amended that decision with a combination of three precincts– 92, 93 and 96, prompting another round of questions from Baumbach. (see previous post below)
That’s when a “concerned reader” brought it to our attention that voters in precincts 94 and 95 were being directed “OUT OF TOWN” to vote at the Schools Hq. All this demonstrates the ability of Boise politicos to annex areas into the city with no vote of those annexed, but does little to demonstrate they are able to cope with that sticky little right to vote once they are citizens of the City of Trees.


Comments & Discussion

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  1. This whole thing strikes me as a bit over the top. It’s only across the street from the city limits and voting there is surely more convenient than Maple Grove School with the limited parking and all those kids. Unless there is some statutory issue, I don’t get the big problem.

  2. Mr. Watcher
    Sep 4, 2009, 7:59 am

    erico49, its not over the top whatsoever. Fact of the matter is many people are giving speeding and other tickets so the city can scam up some loot for the most petty infractions. The city’s lawyers say its black and white, “its the law”. Which makes a stronger case, this polling place is outside of the city of Boise.

    E.G., the area I live in was forced into the city against the wishes of the people who live in this district. We had ourselves on the sewer system, had a fire station down the street and great police service with Ada County. The city came to the table with higher taxes and nothing more. There was no quid pro quo in any regards, zip, natta hint of anything but higher taxes. The city has done zero to improve anything in this area and takes our tax money and dumps it into downtown.

    Fact of the matter we have a very dangerous problem that puts people lives and health in danger in this area and the city refuses to hear any of it. Its government caused in fact. People in the area contacted the Statesmen about it and they charged at it until they figured out that it would make the democrat mayor look bad by allowing people’s lives to stay in danger with a very dangerous health issues. So the Statesman dropped the story. No matter how much the folks in the area point it out to mayor Dave its giving lib service at best. The city wants our money but will not treat us like citizens of the city when we need the city to step up to the plate and do what they should do. It would pull money away from downtown is all we can figure.

    So the lines in the sand are in place to scam people out of their money but are over looked the rest of the time if it is to the advantage of the democrats running city hall. You can’t make this stuff up.

  3. Maybe before people start to write stories or make accusations they should research Idaho State Statute. For example, 50-408 Designation of Polling Places and ADA requirements.

    It just seems to me that some people are still upset over being annexed. Its ok to use Boise City Services but not ok to pay for them – wrong. Everything works great when you get it for free. If you weren’t annexed then you would not be able to vote in this election – think about that. There are some people who wish they could, but can’t.

    Silly and petty. If you don’t like where you live, then move…no one is making you live in Boise. I hear California is nice…

  4. Idaho Code 50-408: “Insofar as possible the polling places shall be in the same location as those provided for county and state elections.”
    Ada County Elections uses Maple Grove Elementary, which is centrally located and convenient. The School District offices used for Boise elections are outside Boise. Boise is clearly in violation of Idaho Code.
    Furthermore, Ada County indicated that in 2011 none of the precincts will be closed. If Ada County does not close precincts, neither should Boise, according to Idaho Code.

  5. John Talbot
    Sep 4, 2009, 11:43 am

    I’ve got to agree with erico49 – it is only the differnce of .7 of a mile. The parking at the Boise School District Service Center is much better suited for election traffic (not to mention the safety of the children who attend Maple Grove Elementary). I take offense to your blatant sensationalism – is there literally so little going on in Boise that this is an issue you feel worthy of pursuing? What a waste of blog space!

  6. Speaking as someone not in the districts affected but as someone who votes either in a school or a church (separation of what now?), I would have no problem travelling less than an extra mile to a polling place that was actually suited to voting. Schools and churches are not ideal.

    So I fall on the side of: “Is this really an issue”?

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    Yes, yes you can. And many people do. Are you following the health-care debate? Thanks for the laugh.

  7. Mr Watcher, you had that little sewer system courtesy of Boise City. Until the sewer went in, septic tanks were failing, the water table was rising, public health concerns were beginning to rear their ugly heads, and the Ada County Commissioners begged Boise City to sewer the area.

    You might feel you didn’t get anything extra through annexation. That’s because you had it already, you just hadn’t paid for it yet. (I know people paid for the sewers that were extended. The point was they were not going to be extended unless they were inside Boise city limits. Boise helped meet a need and is now slammed for it. Unfair)

  8. sara… and furthermore, the City offered low-interest financing and part of the deal for the financing was that you agreed not to oppose annexation.

  9. Lucas,

    I happen to know that Maple Grove Elementary School is not willing to be a polling location any longer even though it was used by Ada County at the last election. What should the City do – force them to be a polling place against their will.

    This is not a safe location for the children attending that school and the congestion that it caused. Do you not care about the children in this community? As a parent I am flabbergasted.

  10. Have any of you ever served as a poll worker? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find acceptable, accessible polling places that can be available from 6am to 10pm? And as Darla stated, voting at schools raises legitimate concerns for student safety and access.

    Go sign up to be a poll worker and then come tell me what a crappy job the county does, or even, —get this—, participate in the election process and perhaps contribute ideas, not just criticism. Those of you that have only been candidates (some) or voters (most) really have very little understanding of how the elections process works. It rolls along even when you’re not paying attention in between elections (or even when YOU are not a candidate). Certainly nothing is perfect, but then we don’t want to pay for facilities or support for anything as wasteful as an ELECTION! I’m amazed that the elections run as smoothly as they do, but it’s only because some people are willing to work at least as much as they complain.

  11. Darla: If you ask me, I think young people are the immediate future. That’s why I think it is a good idea to currently have polling places at 35 local schools, because that gives children the opportunity to see civic duty in action. Wherever the polls are, they should be legally chosen, inside city limits, convenient to voters, and non-discriminatory.

  12. I am with Darla and Elizabeth. I think that one of them should have declared as a candidate! Maybe they should be a write-in candidate.

    Elections are hard work and I applaud those involved in the process.

  13. Casual Observer
    Sep 6, 2009, 8:26 am

    BG needs to take a chill pill.

    A couple of blocks is not the end of the world. It is not like they moved the poll to Caldwell or something.

  14. Mr. Watcher
    Sep 6, 2009, 8:35 am

    As far as using city services and not paying for them. That is totally incorrect. Fact of the matter is when we were not in the city (which I moved to, to get away from the city, so much for that) we paid the full price to get on the sewer system. The county took bids and got us the best deal that they could. But there were no discounts or special deals, just the best price for the work done. We also pay bills for that service so nothing is giving to us in this district for free.
    As far as saying that I should move to CA or what have you. Please go post your juvenile insults over at the Statesmen’s web site because thats the demeanor over there which should suit you excellently.

  15. I agree that it is good for children to be intimately familiar with the democratic process. But allowing the public free access to school facilities is not safe. At our old polling place voters entered the same doors as swarms of junior high students. A student could easily be whisked away, though it statistically more likely that a student would knock over one of the senior voters trying to navigate the crowded halls.

    Continuing, meaningful education on the role and responsibilities of citizenship would be a better approach. But since some parents pitch a fit about a Presidential address to students, I’m guessing that’s not going to happen soon in Idaho. Oh, and I forgot that I was turned commie when I participated in the Presidential fitness challenge as a child. No wonder I have these crazy ideas.

  16. Lucas, Children are the future and ultimatley their safety comes first!

    Seeing civic duty first hand is great so long as it does not jeopordize a childs safety. Maple Grove School is not a safe set-up for a polling location. Perhaps you need to make a logical suggestion to the city for an alternate location since Maple Grove School will not be a polling location and since you do not like the District Service Center? What do you think would be better? Do you have any ideas? I think the DSC is a great idea already.

    Let’s talk solutions instead of always criticizing.

  17. Election? When? What election?

  18. I wonder if they are going to notify the voters in these two precincts of the changed polling place? Or will they just have to learn of the change the hard way?

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