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Voting & Elections Toolkits

Voter Registration in Idaho

Eligibility

To register to vote in Idaho you must:

  • be a U.S. Citizen
  • have resided in Idaho and in the county for thirty (30) days prior to the day of election, and
  • be at least 18 years old.  

You cannot register to vote in Idaho if you have been convicted of a felony and have not had your civil rights restored. Persons convicted of a felony in Idaho have their rights automatically restored upon completion of sentencing including probation or parole

 

A citizen may register with their County Clerk up until 24 days prior to any election. You may register in person or by mail if the registration form is postmarked 24 days before the election. For the 2020 Presidential Preference Primary on March 10 this date is February 14, for the General Primary on May 19 this date is April 24, and for the General Election this date is October 9.

 

Idaho also allows for election day registration. To register on Election Daybring 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. 

 

Online registration

To use the online voter registration system you must have an Idaho Driver's License or Identification Card.

Online registration form

Mail-in registration

Printable forms (PDF)

Refer to the box below for information about ID requirements.

Choosing a political party   

You may choose a political party affiliation when you register, but it is not required.                 

Updating registration

Re-registration with their County Clerk is required if an elector changetheir 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.     

 

 

ID Requirements for Idaho Voters

ID Requirements for Registration

Online Registration

For online voter registration, an Idaho Driver's License or Identification card is required.

Mail or In-person Registration

You must provide one of the following to verify residence:

  • a copy of a current and valid photo identification, OR
  • the last four digits of your Social Security number
  • a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address

If you cannot meet any of the above requirements, you may sign an affidavit and cast a provisional ballot subject to verification of your eligibility to vote.

ID Requirements for Voting

A registered voter must either present a photo ID or sign a Personal Identification Affidavit.

Forms of photo identification may be any one of the following:

  • An Idaho driver’s license or Idaho photo identification card.
  • A U.S. passport or Federal photo identification card.
  • A tribal photo identification card.
  • A current student photo ID, issued by an Idaho high school or post secondary education institution.
  • A license to carry a concealed weapon issued by a county sheriff in Idaho.

If a voter does not have an Idaho Driver’s License, they can use an Idaho photo identification card issued by the Department of Transportation to vote.

 

Where to get an ID

Locations

Obtaining a Driver’s License

Where do I get a Driver’s License or Identification Card?
Idaho driver’s licenses, instruction permits, or identification (ID) cards are issued through the county sheriff’s offices. You may apply at a sheriff’s office that provides driver licensing services. Not all county DMV locations offer Driver License/ID Card services. Use the searchable table above to identify locations with Driver License/ID Card services and their specific hours for testing.

Casting a Ballot in Idaho

Major Elections in 2020

March 10, 2020 Presidential Preference Primary elections. Preregistration deadline February 14, Early voting begins February 24 (for those counties that choose to conduct early voting).

May 19, 2020 General Primary election Preregistration deadline is April 24, Early voting begins May 4 (for those counties that choose to conduct early voting). Important! All voting in this election will be by absentee ballot. Request your absentee ballot by visiting idahovotes.gov where there is an online fill-in form or a downloadable form that can be mailed to your county clerk. Ballot requests must be received by 8:00 p.m. May 19 and ballots must be returned by 8:00 p.m. June 2. Voters who cannot access idahovotes.gov or who do not request a ballot online will be sent an application in the mail. Google Chrome is the recommended browser to use to request your absentee ballot.

November 3, 2020  General election Preregistration deadline October 9, Early voting begins October 19 (for those counties that choose to conduct early voting).

Other elections may be held:

Second Tuesday in March

Third Tuesday in May

Last Tuesday in August

Tuesday following first Monday in November

Full election calendar

 

Application for an absentee ballot: (you must be registered to vote in Idaho to request an absentee ballot)

  • For the May 19 election, which is being held by absentee ballot only, go to https://idahovotes.gov to request your absentee ballot or
  • Can be requested from Clerk’s office or
  • Fill this PDF Absentee Request Form (The form is fillable on your computer using Acrobat)
  • Or by submitting a written request with the required information (name of elector, residence address in Idaho and mailing address to which such registration or ballot is to be forwarded) signed by the applicant

If you wish to have an absentee ballot mailed to you, the request must be received by the county clerk’s office by the 11th day prior to the election (February 28 for the March 10, 2020 Presidential Preference Primary, May 8, 2020 for the May 19 General Primary, and October 23, 2020 for the November 3 General Election). You can still cast an absentee ballot in person at the absent elector’s polling place (usually the county clerk’s office) up until 5 p.m. the Friday before the election (March 6, 2020 for the March 10, 2020 Presidential Preference Primary, May 15, 2020 for the May 19, 2020 General Primary,  and October 30, 2020 for the November 3, 2020 General election).

The absentee ballot request form covers all 4 called elections each year if you wish to vote absentee (or early) in all elections.

Who is eligible to use an absentee ballot?

In Idaho, any qualified elector may request an absentee ballot.

Application for Absentee Ballot (PDF)

Polling places and hours

  • Use the Polling Place Locator, or use the Idaho locator to find your polling place
  • For a general election or primary, polls in Idaho are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Check with the County Clerk regarding voting hours for referenda.
  • Time off to vote: Idaho does not require employers to give employees time off to vote.

Rides to the polls

Many organizations offer free rides to polling places. Some of these include:

Ballots for elections are created and managed by the County Clerk of each county. Most maintain a website that has election information that may include sample ballots. List of County Clerks and the County website

 

Elections

Primaries vs. general elections

  • Primary elections are conducted to select each party’s candidates in the general election.
  • In Idaho, each party chooses whether to participate in a primary and which voters will be allowed to vote in a primary election and must file the decision with the Secretary of State no later than the last Tuesday in November the year prior to the presidential primary. 2020 Primary information
  • At the poll during a primary election an unaffiliated voter may choose a party ballot in order to vote in that party’s primary. However, if you choose a party ballot, state law allows for the affiliation on your registration to be changed
  • In a general election, voters are not required to have a party affiliation.
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

the 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

the first Monday

Cities, Taxing district candidates & measures

If ordered: recall, special question

 

Candidates on the March Presidential Primary ballot 

Presidential primary information

Other information may be available from the County Clerk of each county

March 10th Election

Presidential Preference Primary. If ordered, Taxing District Bond and/or Levy elections. Recall elections. Special Questions.

May 19th Election

Primary Election. If ordered, Taxing District Bond and/or Levy elections. Recall elections.

Scheduled elections:

  • Auditorium Districts
  • Highway Districts
  • Hospital Boards
  • Library Districts
  • Water and Sewer Districts
  • Weather Modification District
  • Recreation Water & Sewer (Conducted by the district)

August 25th Election

If ordered, Taxing District Bond and/or Levy elections. Recall elections. Special Questions.

November 3rd Election

If ordered, Taxing District Bond and/or Levy elections. Recall elections.

Scheduled elections:

  • Cemetery District
  • Cities
  • Fire Protection Districts
  • Recreation Districts
  • School Board and Trustee

 

Elections in Idaho are conducted by the County Clerk. Local information and sample ballots

Where to go with complaints about candidates or how elections are conducted

Though no official information could be found, since elections are governed by the Idaho Secretary of State, the assumption would be that complaints should be registered with the Elections and Administration division of that office. 

ELECTIONS AND ADMINISTRATION

700 W. Jefferson St., Room E205
Boise, ID 83702

P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0080

(208) 334-2852 (elections)

elections@sos.idaho.gov

HOURS:
Monday — Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed daily — 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Campaign finance portal

Idaho campaign finance portal

 

General Resources on Voting and Elections

General Resources on Voting and Elections


Hotlines


1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)

1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)


Voter Registration & Election Day Resources

Find useful voter information including:

  • Local Election Office and Contact Information
  • Address, Telephone and Email for Local Election Offices
  • Upcoming Federal Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming State Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Identification Requirements
  • Voter Materials Transmission Options
  • State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered? Where’s my Ballot?

Population-Specific information and Resources

Voting Rights: Laws, Cases, Policy

Voter Engagement

Voter Education

Campaign Finance/Funding Information

Primary Sources, Lesson Plans & Exhibits

Disclaimer

Librarians from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), a Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), created these reference guides. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and are not in any way intended to be legal advice.

These guides are designated with a Creative Commons license and re-use and modification for educational purposes is encouraged.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.