Voter Registration in Idaho
Residents can register to vote in Iowa in a variety of ways. State authorities encourage all prospective voters to complete the voter registration process in advance to avoid any problems or delays that might prevent them from casting their ballots. However, by law, voters may register as late as Election Day and still participate in the vote. How to register to vote and where to do so can vary, depending on factors such as when a voter begins the process and how he or she intends to vote.
Voting and associated tasks such as registering and updating voter information are handled at the county level in Idaho. County clerks serve as the primary registration officials for their counties and should be considered a resident’s first source of information and assistance. Additional information and support are available from the Idaho State Elections Office.
Who can register to vote in Idaho?
Residents applying for an Idaho voter registration card must be United States citizens and must have lived in the state for minimum period of time before registering. Applicants must be 18 years of age or old or must be turning 18 prior to Election Day to register to vote. Residents who have been convicted of felonies cannot register to vote (or re-register) until they have fully satisfied all the terms of their sentences associated with those crimes and their voting rights have been restored.
All potential voters are required to supply qualifying photo identification in the form of a state-issued document, such as a drivers license, as well as a non-driver ID card or tribal card, or a United States passport. In some cases, student ID cards will also be accepted. Applicants must also submit acceptable proof of residency and their Social Security Numbers (SSNs) when registering.
Idaho Voter Registration Deadline
Many prospective voters do not think to ask, “Am I registered to vote in Idaho?” until national elections approach in November. However, registered voters have multiple opportunities to vote throughout the calendar year. Elections are held statewide in May and August, with additional elections held at other times by individual counties as required.
Voters who designated a political party affiliation on their voter registration cards also have the opportunity to vote in primary party elections. Residents who wish to vote in the primaries but who are not yet registered must register sufficiently far in advance to participate. Unlike the general elections, voters cannot register to vote in primary elections at the polls on voting day.
How to Register to Vote in Idaho
Potential voters who hold current Idaho drivers licenses or non-driver IDs can register to vote quickly and easily online. Residents who do not have one of those forms of state-issued identification must apply in person or by mail.
Qualifying applicants can submit their applications and documents to their County Clerk’s Office. Voter registration applicants applying in person or online because they do not have state-issued IDs will need to provide alternative identification in the form of:
- A U.S. passport.
- A Tribal identification card (with photo).
- Current student ID from an Idaho high school or college.
- An Idaho concealed carry permit.
Potential voters with no qualifying forms of ID can alternatively sign a Personal Identification Affidavit swearing to their identity during the voter registration process. Falsifying one’s identity via a Personal Identification Affidavit is a felony and may result in fines and incarceration.
Early Voting in Idaho
Idaho voter registration card holders can cast their ballots prior to the General Election at select early voting sites. Early voting sites open approximately two weeks prior to Election Day. Residents must be pre-registered to vote at an Early Voting site.
Idaho Voter Registration for Active Duty Military and Out-of-State Residents
Idaho residents in active duty military service or who are temporarily living out of the state can register to vote online using their drivers license numbers or by mail. They may, at the time of registration, elect to receive absentee ballots on a permanent or temporary basis. Applicants can contact the County Clerk in the county in which they are permanent residents for assistance, if needed.
Idaho Voter Registration for Absentee Voting
Idaho residents who are currently living out of the state, serving in the military or who are otherwise unable to vote under normal procedures often wonder, “How and where do I vote?” Absentee residents can complete the voter registration process online or by mail, depending on what forms of identification they have available to them.
As part of the process, applicants may request to receive their ballots by mail, either for a particular election cycle or for all future election cycles. These requests will be handled by the County Clerk’s Office for the county in which the applicant is a permanent resident. Ballots must be completed correctly and returned to the County Clerk’s Office by the deadline stated on the form to be counted.
Voter Registration Cards in Idaho
Prospective voters complete Idaho voter registration cards if they register to vote in person on Election Day at their assigned polling place. Voters who register online or by mail may also request to have copies of their cards sent to them by the County Clerk’s Office.
In addition to essential voter identification information, such as name and address of record, voter registration cards indicate which political parties (if any) voters are affiliated with and which primaries they are allowed to vote in.
How to Change Your Voter Registration in Idaho
Idaho voters must change the voter registration information on file with their County Clerks’ Offices whenever they change their names or addresses. Failure to do so may result in an inability to vote on Election Day. Voters can submit a voter registration change of address or name through their County Clerk’s Office.
Applicants must submit acceptable proof of the change. For example, a utility bill or paystub to prove a change of residence or a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order for a name change. Residents must change voter registration address and name information in advance of Election Day and should not attempt to make changes at their polling places. When updating this information, drivers should also change the address on their driver’s licenses and on other important DMV documents, such as their car registration documents.
Residents who have not cast ballots in either primary or general elections for four or more years are required to re-register to vote. Applicants may also update their registrations if they wish the change their party affiliations or other information on record.
How to Replace a Lost Idaho Voter Registration Card
Idaho voter registration cards may be requested from the County Clerk’s Office in the county in which the voter is a resident. Voters should contact their local Office for costs and specific instructions.