• Michael Ireland

Voting during a pandemic: Requesting your absentee ballot

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

pile of scrabble tiles - four with letters turned up to spell vote

While Idahoans continue to adjust their daily lives in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the state’s stay at home order, the May 19th primary quickly approaches. How has the current situation affected voting in Idaho? In an effort to promote social distancing and to protect the welfare of Idaho’s poll workers and public, the May 19th primary will be conducted by absentee ballot only.

For many Idaho residents like myself, this will be a first. Thankfully, the state has put a lot of effort into making this a painless process. If you haven’t received a flyer in the mail or gotten any of the finer details from your local news outlets, we’ll do our best to outline what this process will look like for Idaho residents. We’ll also provide relevant links to the state’s voter information website.

poster that reads "Online Voter Registration!" Redesigned to be easily accessed for all voters on all devices! idahovotes.gov

What you need to know:

There will be no physical polling locations. If you’d like to vote, it must be done by absentee ballot. The state is encouraging its residents to apply for their ballot online through idahovotes.gov. The website also offers a printable form if you would prefer to mail your absentee application. If you don’t have consistent internet access don’t worry, applications will be mailed to those who have not applied online. You must complete an application in order to receive a ballot. Not sure if you’re registered to vote in Idaho? Idaho Votes will also allow you to check your registration status.

Once you’ve applied for your ballot wait. Online applications will be processed within 3-7 days, and a ballot will be sent to you. Allow 10-17 days for your ballot to arrive once your application is processed. If you mailed your absentee application this process may take longer. Once you receive your ballot, you’re ready to vote! Complete your ballot and send it to your county clerk’s office. Idaho’s voter information website has a complete list of clerk’s offices.

As Idaho Votes says, “it’s as easy as 1,2,3”.

  1. Request A Ballot…

  2. Wait…

  3. Vote And Return…

American Flag with "vote" written in black letters horizontally across

One last thing to keep in mind, your ballot must be received by 8:00 p.m. June 2nd, 2020, so don’t delay! And that’s all there is to it. While possibly a first for many of us, the absentee ballot isn’t a daunting or mysterious process. If you came into this post feeling overwhelmed or stressed by the events of the last few weeks, we hope this outline of absentee voting offered some clarity in these uncertain times. Let your voice be heard, request your ballot today!

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