REXBURG– After a long night of vote-tallying the results are almost all in. Idaho voters rejected the technology centerpiece of public schools chief Tom Luna’s education overhaul. With two-thirds of precincts counted early this morning, 66 percent of voters panned Luna’s proposal to spend $180 million to lease laptops for high school students and create online-class mandates. At about 2 a.m., the two other parts of Luna’s so-called “Students Come First” laws were also trailing. Deputy Secretary of State, Tim Hurst, said voting results took longer than expected because most counties use optical scanning machines to count their votes and the two-page ballots had to be scan individually.
The right to hunt, fish and trap is now a constitutional right in Idaho. Voters overwhelmingly threw their sport behind HJR2, an amendment enshrining the right to hunt, fish and trap in the Idaho Constitution. With 74 percent of the vote counted early today, the measure had nearly 3-1 approval.
Idaho Republicans easily kept the state’s two U.S. House seats firmly in their party’s hands with the election of incumbents Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador. Simpson breezed past Democrat Nicole LeFavour while Labrador was beating ex-NFL player Jimmy Farris. Both winners said their top post-election priorities include helping trim the national debt.
Republicans appear well-positioned to preserve their dominance in the Idaho Legislature. Early results streaming in show GOP candidates either winning or ahead in 85 races, with Democrats holding an advantage in only 20 contests.