“They should be compensated for this error,” Hardey said. “Whether it’s development in the neighborhood — we need sidewalks and better roads, we need a park. Or they should get reimbursed their taxes.”

It’s not clear if reimbursement is possible. Journee said the residents benefited from money paid for city services.

John Gannon, a state representative from a Boise district that does not include Blue Valley, said he was researching what potential consequences were. He called the disenfranchisement “an honest but serious mistake.”

A representative of the Idaho secretary of state’s office said no one was able to comment Thursday.

This story is just the latest example of what happens when mapmakers from one part of local government are not coordinating with the elections office. While the number of voters affected may not have been enough to sway the outcome of any Boise race, it is undeniable that Blue Valley residents were improperly excluded from the ballot box. It’s the kind of problem that election officials, with help from efforts like the NSGIC Geo-Enabled Elections Project – are hoping that GIS technology can help solve. Bottom line – any time a jurisdiction’s boundaries change, the election office should be on the list of those alerted in order to assess the consequences of the change; otherwise, the problem of voters like Blue Valley’s being left out will just reoccur. This will be especially important as district lines change across the nation after the next round of redistricting. Keep an eye on the map – and stay tuned …