Idaho Elections

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Upcoming Elections

2016 Presidential Preference Caucus: Tuesday, March 8 (Republicans--primary)

                                                      Tuesday, March 22 (Democrats--caucus)

Please note caucuses have specific rules. Contact your local state party for more information.

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

You can find more information about those on the Idaho Secretary of State website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

Voting Rights

News

New evidence that voter ID laws ‘skew democracy’ in favor of white Republicans
02/05/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 11:30
Excerpt: 

Voter fraud is, for all intents and purposes, practically nonexistent. The best available research on the topic, by Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt, found only 31 credible incidents of voter impersonation in an investigation of over 1 billion votes cast.

But that hasn't dampened Republican efforts to pass a spate of strict voter ID laws since 2008. And it hasn't hurt the public's overall enthusiasm for those laws, either.

But the results of a new working paper from political scientists at University of California, San Diego suggest folks may want to consider. The researchers analyzed turnout in recent elections -- between 2008 and 2012 -- in states that did and did not implement the strictest form of voter ID laws. They found that these laws consistently and significantly decreased turnout not just among traditionally Democratic-leaning groups, like blacks and Hispanics, but among Republican voters too.

Tuesday’s New Hampshire Primary Will Be First With Voter ID Law In Place
02/05/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 00:00
Excerpt: 

This year’s presidential primary is the first in which the state’s voters will be required to show identification before they can cast their ballots. ...

If a voter doesn’t have a photo ID, they can fill out a “challenged voter affidavit” swearing they are who they say they are. They would also need to have their photo taken by an election official. Voters can object to the photo for religious reasons by filling out a separate affidavit for a religious exemption.Those who complete the affidavit process will have their votes counted.

Those who fill out an affidavit will also receive a follow-up letter from the state asking them to verify they voted in the election. If a response isn’t received within 90 days, the state will investigate.

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Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

Learn More

Helpful Election Information

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 Presidential Preference Caucus: Tuesday, March 8 (Republicans--primary)

                                                      Tuesday, March 22 (Democrats--caucus)

Please note caucuses have specific rules. Contact your local state party for more information.

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

You can find more information about those on the Idaho Secretary of State website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

On Election Day

8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

County clerks have the discretion to open polls beginning at 7:00 AM.  Call your county clerk to find out if voting between 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM is available in your town.

Early Voting

In-person absentee voting ends at 5 p.m. the Friday before election day.

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Use your address to check online here.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Registration Deadlines

You can register to vote until 25 days before the election.  If you miss this deadline, you can register on Election Day at your polling place.

Any eligible voter may register on election day at the polling place for the precinct in which they reside by completing a registration and:

  • Showing an Idaho driver’s license or identification card;
  • Showing any document with a valid address in the precinct with a photo ID; or
  • Showing a current valid student photo ID and a fee statement with an address in the precinct

Voter Registration Application

Identification Required for Registration

To register before Election Day, you will need to provide your driver's license number or the last four digits of your social security number.

If you register to vote at the polls on Election Day, you will need one of the following:

  • A valid Idaho driver's license;
  • A valid Idaho ID card issued by the Department of Transportation;
  • Any document, including a utility bill, paycheck, or any other document that contains a valid address, PLUS a picture ID; or
  • If you are a student, you can use a valid Student ID card from your school and a fee statement that shows your address in the precinct, PLUS a photo ID.

The Idaho Secretary of State has received reports of phone calls offering to register voters over the phone.  The callers often request personal information, including social security numbers.  These calls are fraudulent - do NOT give out your information over the phone.

How to Check Registration

Visit the Idaho Votes Registration Lookup tool.

If You Want to Vote Early

Early voting is conducted by absentee in person or absentee by mail voting (see below).

Call your county clerk to find out where the absent voter's polling place is located in your county and what its hours are.

IF You Want to Vote Absentee

Anyone can apply for an absentee ballot.

Fill out and send in this form or mail your county clerk a letter asking for an absentee ballot.  Be sure to include your name, address where you are registered, mailing address, and signature.

Deadlines

6th day prior to the Election : Last day for an application for a mail-in absentee ballot to be received by the County Clerk not later than 5:00 p.m. 

The Friday prior to the Election  : Last day for in-person absentee voting until 5:00 p.m. for the Election. 

Absentee ballots must be received by the County Clerk at 8:00pm on Election Day.

To vote you must either present a photo ID from the list below, or sign an affidvait confirming your identity.  Voter signing a personal identification affidavit should be provided a regular ballot.

Valid forms of ID:

  • An Idaho driver’s license or photo Identification Card;
  • A U.S. passport or Federal photo identification card;
  • A tribal photo identification card; and
  • A current student photo ID, issued by an Idaho high school or post secondary education institution.

You can register at your new address once you have lived in that county for 30 days.

If you have moved within the 30 days before the election, you can vote for President and Vice President at your old address.  Contact the county clerk at your old address to get a ballot or for more information.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Idaho-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP's Idaho-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it by the 8:00 p.m., Election Day deadline.  The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write-in their choices.  The FWAB may also be used  to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step.  If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by the voter registration deadline.  For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's Idaho-specific FWAB page.

You are eligible to register to vote once you have completed your sentence, including confinement, parole, and probation.

**The materials below have not yet been updated since 2014**

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, visit the National Disability Rights Network’s voting resource center.

For more information for student voters, visit the Idaho Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights