Maybe you can’t get to your polling place, or you don’t enjoy voting in person. Maybe you’re unsure you’ll make it to the polls in time with your busy schedule. Maybe you’ll be away on vacation when Election Day arrives.
Whatever your reason for voting absentee, Friday, Oct. 28, is the final day for registered voters to request an absentee ballot ahead of Idaho’s Nov. 8 general election.
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Registered voters may visit the Idaho Secretary of State’s election website www.voteidaho.gov, or their county clerk’s office to request an absentee ballot by 5 p.m. local time on Friday. Once they receive their absentee ballot, Idaho voters will want to act quickly. All absentee ballots must be received by their local county clerk’s office no later than when the polls close at 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. Dropping a completed absentee ballot in the mail on or the day before Election Day all but ensures the vote will not be counted; the ballot must be received by the county clerk — either by mail, at a ballot drop box or delivered in person — before the polls close in order to be counted.
If interested voters miss Friday’s deadline to request an absentee ballot, there are still two ways for them to cast their ballots and vote.
First, early voting or in-person absentee voting is underway in all 44 Idaho counties and continues until 5 p.m. on Nov. 4. Early voting allows Idahoans to vote in person at an early voting location much like they would at the polls on Election Day, according to the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office. In-person absentee voting allows a voter to complete an absentee ballot at their local county clerk’s office.
Second, polls across the Gem State will be open for in-person voting on Nov. 8 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time. Although the deadline to pre-register to vote ahead of the election has already passed, interested voters may register at the polls on Election Day, then fill out their ballots.
When new voters go to register, a poll worker will ask for identification and proof of residency dated at least 30 days prior to the election. Unregistered voters may meet those requirements by:
- showing an Idaho driver’s license or state-issued ID card;
- showing a current student ID card from a postsecondary education institution in Idaho, alongside a current fee statement addressed to them at a residence within the voting precinct;
- or providing a document that contains a valid Idaho address in the precinct, along with a photo identification card.
Idahoans can check whether they are registered to vote, where their polling place is and which legislative and congressional district they live in by visiting www.voteidaho.gov. Because of the 2021 redistricting process, many Idahoans will have a new polling place or live in a new legislative or congressional district for the first time in 10 years.
Why does the 2022 election matter in Idaho?
The 2022 elections will shape government and politics in Idaho and across the country for years.
One of Idaho’s U.S. Senate seats and both of its seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for election.
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It’s also a major state election with all statewide offices such as governor, attorney general, secretary of state and superintendent of public instruction up for election.
All 105 seats in the Idaho Legislature are up for election, but more than half of the races will not be contested because Democrats are not fielding candidates in dozens of races.
There is also a proposed amendment to the Idaho Constitution that would allow the Idaho legislature to call itself back into session, and a nonbinding advisory question asking Idahoans whether they approve or disapprove of the action Gov. Brad Little and the Idaho Legislature took with regard to taxes and education funds during the Sept. 1 special session of the Idaho Legislature.
Depending on where they live, Idahoans may also have county offices, community college trustees or nonpartisan judges on their ballots.