Who Can Register to vote in Idaho
Any eligible person who wishes to vote in Idaho and who has never voted here or who has changed name or address since last registering needs to register. Voter registration in Idaho is at the county level with the County Clerk acting as the chief registration official of their respective county.
To register to vote in the State of Idaho, an individual must meet the following qualifications:
- Be a United States Citizen;
- Be at least 18 years old on Election Day;and
- Have resided in Idaho and in the county for 30 days.
Federal, State or County Election - 30 days within the state and county
City Election - 30 days within the city
Taxing District Election - 30 days within the Taxing District
You are not eligible to vote if you:
- have been convicted of a felony and have not had your civil rights restored, or;
- are confined in prison on conviction of a criminal offense.
If you meet the other qualifications to register to vote, but have been convicted of a felony (in Idaho, or any other jurisdiction), your civil rights for voting purposes are automatically restored upon completion of your sentence, including any probation or parole.
How Do I Register To Vote in Idaho
deliver your completed card to your county
Click here to get the address and phone number for the board of registrars office in your county
â¢ If mailed, your county elections offi ce will mail you a card to let you know that your registration was received.
Click here to download the Mail-In Voter Registration Form
Voting At The Polls On Election Day
WHAT IS AN ACCEPTABLE FORM OF IDENTIFICATION 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.
- ID card, including a photo, issued by an agency of the U.S.
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.
- Check the Department of Transportation website for locations and documents you may need
If a voter is not able to show an acceptable ID, the voter will be given the option to sign the Personal Identification Affidavit.
- On the Affidavit, the voter swears to his/her identity under penalty of perjury, a felony under Idaho Code § 34-1114.
- After signing the Affidavit, the voter will be issued a ballot to be tabulated with all other ballots.
Who Can Vote in Primary Elections in Idaho
Both Democrats and Republicans hold Semi-Closed Primaries
Primary Elections in Idaho
Beginning in 2011, a law went into effect that restricts an elector to voting only in the primary election of the political party for which he or she is registered, unless a party notified the Secretary of State in writing that the political party elects to allow additional voters (unaffiliated voters and/or voters registered with another party) to participate in the party's primary election. (See Idaho Code § 34-904A.)
As a result of a federal court decision in Idaho Republican Party v. Ysursa, the 2011 Idaho Legislature passed House Bill 351 implementing a closed primary system. Persons who are not members of a party may not participate in the selection of that party’s nominees. However, Idaho law does allow the political parties the option of opening their primary elections to “unaffiliated” voters and members of other political parties if they so choose. The party chairman must notify the Secretary of State 6 months prior to the primary if the party intends to open it's primary election to those outside the party.
There are elections on nonpartisan issues scheduled to be held in conjunction with primaries, such as judicial elections, bond or levy elections or possibly state or local question elections. All registered voters are entitled to vote on nonpartisan issues during primaries.
Changing Party Affiliation
For a primary election, an elector may change their political party affiliation or become 'unaffiliated' by filing a signed form with the county clerk no later than the 10th Friday prior to such primary election, as provided for in Idaho Code § 34-704.
Click here for additional information
Who Can Vote Absentee in Idaho
Voter registration in Idaho is at the county level with the county clerk acting as the chief registration official of their respective county. If you have questions concerning registration, absentee ballots, or accessible voting, contact your County Clerk.
Absentee Registration and/or Application for Absentee Ballot must be applied for by the Applicant to the County Clerk in the County in which the elector's Idaho residence is
Absentee Voting by mail.
- can be requested from the Clerk's office or
- fill this PDF Voter Registration Form (form is fillable on your screen with Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher
Application for an absentee ballot: (you must be registered to vote in Idaho to request an absentee ballot)
- can be requested from Clerk's office or
- fill this PDF Absentee Request Form (form is fillable on your screen with Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher)
- 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 6th day prior to the 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.
What If My Address Has Changed
Students and Voting Residency
- The advent of election day registration in Idaho and how it interacts with the concept of âvoting residenceâ has been a source of controversy in various college towns throughout Idaho.
- The crux of the student registration and voting controversy is the question of whether you, as a student, can establish a residence for voting purposes, and if so, how can this be determined by registration officials.
- In Idaho Constitutional (Article VI, Sec. 5) and statutory provisions (Idaho Code Â§ 34-405) provide that no person is deemed to have gained or lost a residence for voting purposes by reason of his presence or absence while a student at any institution of learning. These provisions have the effect of treating physical presence as a neutral factor in determining voting residence and therefore other factors must be looked at.
Idaho residence for voting purposes:
- (1) "Residence," for voting purposes, shall be the principal or primary home or place of abode of a person. Principal or primary home or place of abode is that home or place in which his habitation is fixed and to which a person, whenever he is absent, has the present intention of returning after a departure or absence therefrom, regardless of the duration of absence.
- (2) In determining what is a principal or primary place of abode of a person the following circumstances relating to such person may be taken into account business pursuits, employment, income sources, residence for income or other tax pursuits, residence of parents, spouse, and children, if any, leaseholds, situs of personal and real property, situs of residence for which the exemption in section 63-602G, Idaho Code, is filed, and motor vehicle registration.
- (3) A qualified elector who has left his home and gone into another state or territory or county of this state for a temporary purpose only shall not be considered to have lost his residence.
- (4) A qualified elector shall not be considered to have gained a residence in any county or city of this state into which he comes for temporary purposes only, without the intention of making it his home but with the intention of leaving it when he has accomplished the purpose that brought him there.
- (5) If a qualified elector moves to another state, or to any of the other territories, with the intention of making it his permanent home, he shall be considered to have lost his residence in this state.
This section in essence sets forth the concept of domicile ie. principal or primary home or place of abode of a person.
Idaho courts have held that â for a change of domicile to occur, the fact of physical presence at a dwelling place and the intention to make it a home must concur and when such domicile is established, it persists until another is legally acquired. Kirkpatrick v. Transtector Systems 114 Id. 559.
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