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Punch Card Voting in Idaho

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Nearly 12 years ago, the world learned about the hanging, dimpled, and pregnant chads produced by punch-card ballots. That voting technology and the chads that come with it are now mere memories—except for voters in four Idaho counties.

Bonneville, Clearwater, Franklin, and Shoshone Counties still use punch-card systems while Minidoka County just replaced theirs with optical scanners earlier this year.

In 2000, according to numbers from Election Data Services, approximately 30 percent of the nation’s registered voters lived in jurisdictions using punch-card devices. Today, the four Idaho counties are home to slightly more than 60,000 registered voters, just 8 percent of the state’s registered voters and well under .1 percent of registered voters nationwide.