Citizen’s Guide

Boise

Citizen’s Guide to Participation

Official Voting Information

Fellow Idahoans:

Your vote may be viewed as a way to thank our forefathers who imagined a place where its citizens had the freedom to choose their leaders and make their voices heard on issues that would impact their lives. From imagining they made such a place a reality – the United States of America. Many have fought and many have given their lives to ensure our “rights” are not lost. As citizens of the United States and our great state of Idaho one way we may honor their sacrifices is by stepping into the voting booth and exercising our “right to vote.”

Not only is voting a “right”, it is the responsibility of each citizen to exercise that “right.” It is important that we take that responsibility seriously by becoming an informed voter. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt so aptly stated it, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely.” In this computer age, information regarding candidates and issues are a “click” away. However, there are many other methods available to help you learn as much as you can before you “mark” your ballot.

As Idaho’s Chief Election Officer, I strongly encourage you to join with other voters in determining the direction of our country, state, counties and cities. Make voting a habit that you continue to strengthen each Election Day.

Lawerence Denney
Idaho Secretary of State
Chief Election Officer

“No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.”
– President Abraham Lincoln –

United States Constitution
14th Amendment, Section 1. Ratified July 9, 1868
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside…”

We the People

The will of the people is the basis of the authority for our government in the United States. In order to express their will, the citizens of our country elect leaders and vote on ballot measures in free and fair elections. In Idaho, since statehood in 1890, qualified electors have directed the government of our state.

Idaho citizens have several choices of how and when to cast their ballots. Traditionally voting takes place at a neighborhood polling place on Election Day. A qualified elector may also vote in person before Election Day during the “early voting” period. Electors may also request an Absentee ballot from their County Clerk and vote by mail.

We, the People, have a common concern for the welfare of our families, our communities, our state, our country, and our fellow American citizens. Our responsibility and privilege as electors is to study the candidates and issues on the ballot and express our will at the ballot box.

Qualified Electors

To become a qualified elector a citizen must first register with their County Clerk. A person must be a citizen of the United States, 18 years of age, a resident of Idaho and their county for 30 days prior to the election and registered as required by law with their County Clerk.

Registration

A citizen may register with their County Clerk up until 24 days prior to any election. You must provide an Idaho Driver’s License number, Idaho Identification Card number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. You may register in person with your County Clerk or by mail if your registration form is postmarked 24 days before any election.

Idaho also provides for Election Day registration. To register on Election Day, bring a document with a valid address in your precinct and photo identification when you go to your polling place. Students of a post-secondary education institution may use student photo identification and a fee statement with an address in the precinct from their school to register on Election Day.

Re-registration with their County Clerk is required if an elector changes their address. Re-registration is required if an elector changes their name by marriage or for another reason. If an elector has not voted in a Primary or General Election in the last four years re-registration is also required to be listed as a qualified elector in Idaho.

Party Affiliation

When a citizen registers to vote with their County Clerk, they may choose to affiliate with a political party or remain an “unaffiliated” voter with no party affiliation.

A voter who has affiliated with a party may change their affiliation by filing a signed form with the County Clerk no later than the last day a candidate may file for the party Primary election.

An “unaffiliated “ voter may affiliate with a political party by filing a signed form with the County Clerk up to and including Election Day.

Identification Required to Vote

    A photo identification or signed personal identification affidavit is required to vote. Acceptable forms of personal identification are:

  • An Idaho driver’s license or identification card issued by the Idaho Transportation Department,
  • A passport or photo identification card issued by an agency of the United States government,
  • A Tribal photo identification,
  • A Idaho student photo identification from an accredited institution of higher education including high school, college, university or technical school.
  • Personal Identification Affidavit
  • A qualified elector may sign a personal identification affidavit at the polling place and vote if they are unable to present an acceptable form of photo identification.

Elections Days

By legislative statute elections are held on four (4) Tuesdays each year for the convenience of the voter. Each year elections in Idaho are held on:

  • the second Tuesday in March
  • the third Tuesday in May
  • the last Tuesday in August
  • the Tuesday following first Monday in November

Polling places are open 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. but may open earlier, if the county chooses.

What Elections are on the Ballot?

Federal and State elections are held in even numbered years. In odd numbered years, city elections, school district candidate elections, and taxing district elections are held. School districts may hold additional elections in March and August for bond and levy questions. Recall, special elections and emergency elections may be held on any of the four Tuesdays if necessary.

Party Primary Elections

The Presidential Primary is held every four years in March in the years in which a president is to be nominated.

Party Primary Elections to select party candidates for federal, state and county offices are held in even numbered years on the third Tuesday in May.

Political party rules apply to Primary Elections. You may be required to register as a member of specific political party in order to vote in that party’s Primary Election. You may only vote in the Primary Election of one party.

There are four (4) recognized political parties in Idaho: the Constitution Party, the Democratic Party, the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party.

General Elections

General Elections are held in even numbered years on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November and are open to all registered voters regardless of party affiliation.

Successful party candidates from the Primary Election appear on the ballot along with statewide constitutional amendments, initiatives, referendums and some taxing district elections.

Absentee Voting by Mail

Qualified electors in Idaho can vote by absentee ballot and return their ballot by mail or personal delivery. You may request a ballot in writing from your County Clerk, by submitting your name, residence address in Idaho, and the mailing address where you want your ballot mailed. You must personally sign your application. Mail or deliver your application to your County Clerk no later than eleven (11) days before the election. You will receive an absentee ballot in the mail. Your ballot must be returned to the County Clerk by 8:00 P.M. on Election Day.

Voting Before Election Day

Qualified electors may vote in person before Election Day at an early voting site. Contact your County Clerk for the dates, times and location of early voting in your county. Most counties use the county courthouse or elections office for early voting. Early voting ends in all counties at 5:00 P.M. on the Friday before Election Day.

Accessible Voting Options

Ballots and polling places in Idaho are accessible to all voters. If you or someone you know has difficulty seeing or marking a ballot there are several ways to vote. Voters can be assisted at the polls by a person of their choice or by a poll worker. A ballot marking machine with an audio ballot and enlarged print is also available during early voting and at all polling places for State and Federal elections. You may vote from home with a mail-in absentee ballot. Contact your County Clerk before Election Day if you would like assistance to vote or have questions about accessible voting options in Idaho.

Make Sure Your Vote Counts

Mark your ballot properly. Follow ballot marking instructions carefully to make sure your vote counts. The type of ballot your county chooses may change based on the size and type of election or combination of elections.

Counties can use paper or optical scan ballots. Paper ballots are marked with an “x” in a box, optical scan ballots are marked by filling in an oval or a square.

Read all instructions carefully to make sure your vote counts. An example of proper marking for each type of ballot is in this pamphlet. Marking instructions are printed on all ballots. Marking instructions are also posted in all polling places.

Participation is the Essence of Democracy

Once you have registered with your County Clerk and become a qualified elector, check your polling place on idahovotes.gov. Bring your photo identification to the polls to vote. If you know you will not be able to go to your polling place on Election Day remember you can vote by mail by requesting an absentee ballot or vote in person at your county’s early voting site. Call your County Clerk if you have any questions.

Study the candidates and research the issues that you will be voting on. It may be helpful to write out a “voting list” to save time at the polls. Talk to your family and friends about voting. Write letters to your newspaper, make phone calls, send emails and use social media.

Elections belong to the people… who participate.

Your county’s choice of ballot style may vary
depending on the size and type of election.

Paper Ballot Voting Instructions

Read the instructions on your ballot carefully. Use only the marking device provided to mark your
ballot.

To vote you must make an “X” in the box.

John Johnson

X

Marty Marks

Bill Brown

To vote for a declared write-in candidate, write in their name on the line provided and make an X in the box. Do not write in the name of a person whose name is printed on the ballot.
Only vote for the number of candidates allowed in each race or your vote will not be counted for that race. Follow instructions on your ballot.

X

Carey Carpenter

If you make a mistake, ask the election clerk for a new ballot. Do not attempt to erase or cross out a vote.

To protect the secrecy of your ballot, fold the voted ballot(s) so that the official stamp is visible and the face of the ballot is completely enclosed.

Return the ballot to the receiving clerk and deposit your ballot in the ballot box. The clerk will announce your name as having voted.

Optical Scan Ballot Voting Instructions

Read the instructions on your ballot carefully. Use only the marking device provided to mark your ballot. There are two types of optical scan ballots, an oval and a square. To vote you must completely fill in the oval or the square.

John Johnson

X

Marty Marks

Bill Brown

John Johnson

X

Marty Marks

Bill Brown

To vote for a declared write-in candidate, write in the name on the line provided and fill in the oval or the square. Do not write in the name of a person whose name is printed on the ballot.

Carey Carpenter

Carey Carpenter

Only vote for the number of candidates allowed in each race or your vote will not be counted for that race. Follow the instructions on your ballot.

If you make a mistake, ask the election clerk for a new ballot. Do not attempt to erase or cross out a vote. To protect the secrecy of your ballot, place the ballot in the secrecy sleeve.

Return the ballot, in the secrecy sleeve, to the receiving clerk and deposit the ballot in the ballot box. The clerk will announce your name as having voted.

Election Dates

Counties in Idaho conduct elections four (4) times a year.

Even numbered years:
MARCH Second Tuesday Presidential Primary.
Every 4 years.
School district bond / levy
If ordered: recall
MAY Third Tuesday Party Primary Elections
Taxing district measures
If ordered: recall,
special questions
AUGUST Last Tuesday School district bond / levy
If ordered: recall
NOVEMBER Tuesday following first Monday General Election
Taxing district measures
If ordered: recall,
special questions,
initiatives, referendum
Odd numbered years:
MARCH Second Tuesday School district bond / levy
If ordered: recall
MAY Third Tuesday Taxing district
candidates & measures
If ordered: recall,
special questions
AUGUST Last Tuesday School district bond / levy
If ordered: recall
NOVEMBER Tuesday following first Monday Cities, Taxing district candidates & measures
If ordered: recall,
special questions

Find your County Clerk

Idaho Federal Officials

Senator Mike Crapo (R)

208-334-1776. Washington, DC: 202-224-6142

http://www.crapo.senate.gov/

Senator James E. Risch (R)

208-342-7985. Washington, DC: 202-224-2752

http://www.risch.senate.gov/public/

Congressman District One – Raul Labrador (R)

208-888-3188. Washington, DC: 202-225-6611

http://labrador.house.gov/

Congressman District Two – Mike Simpson (R)

208-334-1953. Washington, DC: 202-225-5531

http://simpson.house.gov/

Idaho State Officials

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter (R)

208-334-2100. www.gov.idaho.gov

Lieutenant Governor Brad Little (R)

208-334-2200. http://lgo.idaho.gov

Secretary of State Lawerence Denney (R)

208-334-2300. www.sos.idaho.gov

State Controller Brandon D. Woolf (R)

208-334-3100. www.sco.idaho.gov

State Treasurer Ron G. Crane (R)

208-334-3200. www.sto.idaho.gov

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden (R)

208-334-2400. http://www.ag.idaho.gov

Supt. of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra (R)

208-332-6815. http://www.sde.idaho.gov

State Legislators

http://legislature.idaho.gov/howtocontactlegislators.htm

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majoritywho participate.”
~ President Thomas Jefferson ~

Official Voting Information

Lawerence Denney, Secretary of State

208.334.2852

www.sos.idaho.gov.

elections@sos.idaho.gov

700 W Jefferson, Room #E205

PO Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720-0080