Ybarra skipped at least 15 of 17 state elections

If state superintendent hopeful Sherri Ybarra votes on Election Day, it will be the first time the Republican has cast a ballot in a November general election while living in Mountain Home.

Sherri Ybarra square
Sherri Ybarra, R-Mountain Home

According to Elmore County election records, Ybarra has not voted for a governor, a state superintendent, a president or a state legislator in a general election since moving to Mountain Home in 1996.

Ybarra did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Idaho Education News Tuesday.

When asked about her voting history last month, Ybarra made it sound as if skipping an election was a rare occurrence.

“We have all missed an election or two in our lifetime, and I am not exempt from that,” Ybarra said during a Sept. 26 City Club of Boise candidate forum.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ybarra spokeswoman Melinda Nothern said she was unable to reach Ybarra, but replied via email that “(Ybarra) has stated on the record and in the debate that she didn’t vote in all the elections and owned it so her previous comments will have to stand.”   

Idaho Education News has already reported that Ybarra did not vote in the 2012 general election, when voters overturned Propositions 1,2 and 3 after a contentious statewide debate over K-12 policy. The controversial education overhaul was authored by State Superintendent Tom Luna, the Republican Ybarra hopes to succeed next month.

But based on voting records reviewed Tuesday morning, Ybarra actually missed at least 15 of 17 primary or general elections between 1998 and 2012. Ybarra moved to Mountain Home sometime in 1996; depending on the precise date, she did not vote in either eight or nine consecutive general elections.

Ybarra registered to vote on June 16, 2010, but did not vote in that year’s general election. That November, voters elected four officers who are on the GOP ticket alongside Ybarra: Gov. Butch Otter, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Treasurer Ron Crane.

Ybarra also sat out the 2006 general election, when Otter was elected to his first term and Luna narrowly beat Democrat Jana Jones, Ybarra’s opponent this year.

Ybarra also skipped presidential elections in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. Depending on when she moved to Mountain Home, Ybarra may have also skipped the November 1996 presidential election between Democrat Bill Clinton and Republican challenger Bob Dole.

Elmore County voting records date to the 1980s, elections clerk Vivian Garcia said.

Ybarra did vote in GOP primary elections in May 2012 and May 2014, Garcia said. She also voted in a city election in 2011 and a Mountain Home School District levy election earlier this year.

Jones has voted in every general election since 2002, when Bonneville County officials first started tracking voting histories. Jones also voted in state primary elections in 2006, 2010 and 2014, county records show.

Ybarra’s voting history

  • 2014 primary: Voted.
  • 2012 general election: Did not vote.
  • 2012 primary: Voted.
  • 2010 general election: Did not vote.
  • 2010 primary: Did not vote.
  • 2008 general election: Did not vote.
  • 2008 primary: Did not vote.
  • 2006 general election: Did not vote.
  • 2006 primary: Did not vote.
  • 2004 general election: Did not vote.
  • 2004 primary: Did not vote.
  • 2002 general election: Did not vote.
  • 2002 primary: Did not vote.
  • 2000 general election: Did not vote.
  • 2000 primary: Did not vote.
  • 1998 general election: Did not vote.
  • 1998 primary: Did not vote.
  • Source: Elmore County Election’s Office.

Clark Corbin

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