Idaho confirms GOP primary results. This race came down to 2 votes, qualifies for recount

An eastern Idaho House GOP race came down to almost the narrowest of margins: two votes.

State officials confirmed last month’s primary election results Wednesday, locking in place the outcome of a contest in the District 30 House seat B race between Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot, who secured 3,761 votes, and challenger Ben Fuhriman, who received 3,763 votes.

Fuhriman’s victory confirmed him as the Republican candidate for the Nov. 5 general election, when he will face Democrat Breane Buckingham in the district that covers Butte and Bingham counties.

But Young, a three-term incumbent, requested a recount Wednesday, Chelsea Carattini, spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s Office, told the Idaho Statesman by email. The request is routed through the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, and the recount would direct election officials to tally the contest’s more than 7,500 votes again, one ballot at a time. The slim margin makes Young eligible for a free recount.

May’s primary ended with a strong night for far-right Republicans, who are likely to pick up five House seats after the November election.

The outcome in District 30 is viewed as exception to that trend: Fuhriman’s platform was more moderate than Young’s. Young sponsored a bill this year to limit transgender or nonbinary people’s access to medical treatment. That bill became law.

The tight results already shrunk after an error in Butte County on election night shifted a 10-vote margin to the two-vote outcome, the Secretary of State’s Office previously said in a news release. Wednesday’s canvass is the official vote tally.

Young and Fuhriman could not immediately be reached for comment. In her Facebook post, Young said that “assuming the results remain consistent, I wish my opponent the very best in his public service.”

This story was updated 10 a.m. June 6 after Julianne Young requested a recount.