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BOISE -- The votes are still being tallied in Idaho's May 2012 Primary, but elections officials say it will likely post the lowest turnout in state history.

If true, that means less than 25 percent of Idaho's roughly 750,000 registered voters cast ballots.

Idaho Sec. of State Ben Ysursa told KTVB he believes the diminished numbers are directly connected to Idaho's newly-closed Republican primary, among other changes for 2012.

We expected push back going into this, Ysursa said.

That sentiment was somewhat echoed by Idaho Gov. C.L. Butch Otter, who spoke to KTVB from the state's GOP election headquarters in Boise.

I don't think there is any question that there was a subdued attitude, Otter said, referring to the low turnout.

However, instead of blaming the closed primary, Otter explained the low numbers in a different way -- saying Idaho's newly established 2012 Presidential Caucus in March likely took much of the enthusiasm from the May polls.

Yet, despite what some might say is decreased enthusiasm, Tuesday's election saw several major political battles decided.

Ada County

In the political battle based on her support of Ada County's proposed trash gasification plant, Commissioner Sharon Ullman was unseated by opponent Dave Case.

Canyon County

In a major upset likely based on his handling of the John Bujak court case, Commissioner David Ferdinand was defeated by challenger Craig Hanson. Hanson collected 10,032 votes, compared to Ferdinand's 5,424.

U.S. House Dist. 2 - GOP

Incumbent U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson defeated Tea Party-backed challenger Chick Heileson from Twin Falls. Analysts had said the race could be a signpost of the growing influence of Tea Party politics in the Gem State.

U.S. House Dist. 2 - DEM

Meanwhile, former state Senator Nicole LeFavour won her bid against Jack Chappell. LeFavour, who left the state senate after publicly bemoaning the lack of progress for the Democratic party, will go on to challenge Mike Simpson.

House Dist. 8 - GOP

Incumbent Congressman Ken Roberts defeated challengers John Blattler and Dan Davis. Top House Republicans Lawerence Denney and Mike Moyle contributed thousands to try and oust Roberts, who they felt was a threat to leadership.

Senate Dist 23 - GOP

Incumbent Senator Tim Corder Sr. lost his seat to Owyhee County Rancher Bert Brackett. Corder, who is from Mountain Home, was targeted as a moderate by Brackett, who received thousands in political contributions from conservative-aligned groups.

Senate Dist 27 - GOP


Longtime JFAC Chairman and moderate Republican Dean Cameron held onto his seat in a close race against Douglas Pickett. Pickett, who billed himself as the more conservative challenger, gathered 2,900 votes. Cameron took 3,773 votes.

Local elections

Elsewhere, many local levy elections were approved by voters, including school levies in Burley, Filer, Melba, Middleton, Mountain Home, and Vallivue.

Boise County also approved a tax bond increase that could help the county pay-off a major, multi-million dollar debt.

Voters in the City of Emmett approved a major sewer bond.

For a complete list of elections results, see KTVB's 2012 Primary Election results page.

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