After my apparent loss in a close race (four votes) I was dismayed to learn that Pat Finnegan was prevented from voting in the Zone 2 Mountain View School board election, despite being a registered zone 2 voter.

I have faith in the integrity of county clerk Kathy Ackerman’s office and do not believe this was intentional voter suppression. I am very concerned that I lost even one vote in a very close election. Finnegan was turned away around 2:30 p.m. When his wife, Naomi Finnegan, arrived at the polls around 5:30 p.m., a poll worker told her that she did not live in a zone where there was a contested election. Since Mrs. Finnegan had confirmed her zone 2 status with the Idaho County elections office by phone, poll workers found her name and allowed her to vote.

The fact that qualified voters were told this almost 10 hours into the voting day, points to a larger problem. Who knows how many other registered voters in zone 2 were not allowed to vote at the Grangeville armory?

Ackerman apologized to both Mr. Finnegan and to me, telling him that he had gone to the wrong table at the armory. She explained that the standard procedure required the poll attendants to cross reference each voter between the two tables and admitted that this did not happen in Pat Finnegan’s case.

The Idaho Secretary of State’s office has an excellent website where people can easily check their school board zone and precinct under voter information. I would like to hear from any voter who believes they are a registered zone 2 voter prevented from voting at the Grangeville armory. Please contact me at or (208) 993-0689. I encourage you to also contact the Idaho County elections office at (208) 983-2751 to tell your story.

I trust in Ackerman and her group to review this election and make changes in poll worker training and voter education for future elections so that all voices are heard.

Norma Staaf


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