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Political experts talk state impact of 2012 election

By Stephanie Hale-Lopez
Published On: Nov 15 2012 06:51:05 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 16 2012 05:30:42 PM CST

Idaho voters decided the future of the state with last week's general election.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Idaho voters decided the future of the state with last week's general election.

Important issues like education, hunting, fishing, and trapping were on the ballot.

Political experts say a lot was learned after the results came in and the results show a lot about the mindset of Idaho voters.

David Adler, Director of Boise State's Andrus Center of Public Policy, said this year's election showed a shift of power in the state.

"It's a growing problem as the population shifts to the other part of the state and voices in the Treasure Valley become even more powerful," said Adler.

Adler said the more urban areas and wealthier parts of the state are in control, the more those living in rural areas need to get involved in politics.  Adler was keynote speaker at the 70th annual conference of the Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts in Idaho Falls Thursday.

"They need to work together collaboratively to present their own interests, their own issues and to promote those in the legislature," said Adler.

Another factor in this election was the influence of the Latino vote. Between 40,000 to 50,000 votes came from this demographic.

Adler said this group has the power to completely change political outcomes.

"Full speed ahead, I think the Hispanic voters should recognize that their time has come and they can play a key role in affecting Idaho elections," said Adler.

And with a Republican legislature in more than two dozen states, Adler said everyone could use more political civility and express interest in listening to the minority, which is what our country was based on.

Another key group in this year's election was women. Not only did their vote influence the election, but a record 20 women will take seats in the U.S. Senate next term.

The legislature will reconvene in January.

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