#4ThePeople: Fun facts about elections in the Inland Northwest

SPOKANE, Wash. — For nearly two months, we have been asking you what you wanted to know ahead of Tuesday’s election.

Our team has been getting you those answers in our #4ThePeople coverage and now here we are, only one day away.

We put out one last call to see what kind of election story you, the people, would like to see and you wanted a fun story about voting in the Inland Northwest.

So, here are some fun facts you may not have known about local elections.


The Evergreen State and the Gem State gained their statehood relatively late on the timeline of American history; Washington was the 42nd state and Idaho was the 43rd. Despite that, we’ve been ahead of the curve when it comes to voting laws.

2020 marks 100 years since the 19th Amendment was formed, which gave women the right to vote. But, the country was playing catch up to Washington, where women have been allowed to vote since 1910.

This year technically marks 100 years of women exercising their right to vote, with Washington being the fifth state in the country to do so.

When it comes to voting by mail, the pandemic has had some states scrambling to give this option to their voters, but not in the Evergreen state. Washington voters jumped straight into mail-in voting back in 2005, making it the second state in the country to lead the charge.


The ghost of prohibition’s past had been hanging over the Gem State up until 2008. That is the year the Idaho legislature repealed the Blue Law.

The 1939 rule banned alcohol sales on Election Day. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Idaho is the 42nd state to kick alcohol bans on Election Day.


That was 12 years ago and the fight continues right now in Libby, Montana. Though Big Sky country is not part of the Inland Northwest, it still is part of the 4 News Now viewing area.

The Western News reports Libby’s City Council voted to change a ban on selling, handling and delivering alcohol on Election Day, which was noted in a clause that has been buried in a business license application law since 1976.

A second hearing is scheduled for Monday night and, if approved, it still will no go into effect before Tuesday. This change would not begin until 30 days later.

If you want more fun facts about voting in the Inland Northwest, check out the Ferris Archives of the Northwest Museum.