This is an election that will be like no other in Idaho history.
For the first time ever, all Idahoans will vote by absentee ballot.
Due to the Chinese Coronavirus, Governor Little and Secretary Denney decided to close “in-person” voting. That means that on election day, there won’t be anywhere to go to cast a ballot.
So, every single one of you wishing to vote in the “May 19th” primary need to request a ballot.
However, I do have one major concern and that is people forgetting a required signature that is not on the ballot itself!
First, before we get to my main concern, we need to make sure you know how to request a ballot.
You can either request one from your county election’s office or request one from the state election’s office.
If you choose to do it through the state, you will need your driver’s license number handy. Click here to be taken to the Secretary of State Election’s office ballot request form.
Once you have requested your ballot, it may take several weeks to arrive.
When your ballot arrives, there are several important things you need to do.
Be sure you understand everything that is contained in the envelope it arrives in.
Of course, you have the ballot itself which you must fill out with a black or blue ink pen. Be sure to check BOTH SIDES of your ballot because there are likely races on the back side as well.
Make sure to fill in the boxes completely to make sure the machines can read them.
After you have finished filling out your ballot, you will put it in the “Secrecy Sleeve.”
Remember, this is NOT the “Return Envelope.”
The image on the “Secrecy Sleeve” tells you how to put it inside and remember that this is not to be sealed.
Now you are ready to put it into the return envelope for your county election’s office. This is where my main concern comes in.
You MUST SIGN AND DATE the back of the return envelope!
If you do not sign and date this envelope, your ballot will not be counted.
Signing is one of the “security” measures for the “Absentee Ballot” process.
Finally, once you have signed and dated the return envelope, you just need to put a stamp on and send it back.
I know some people are not comfortable with the ballot being sent through the mail. Check with your local election’s office on whether or not they have a “Drop Box” you can put your ballot in at the office itself.
For instance, the Canyon Count election’s office has a “Mail” slot in the wall to drop ballots or ballot requests through.
There are a number of reasons I am not a fan of “Mail-In” voting. I wrote an article on the issue here.
Additionally, if you look at the “blacked-out” text on the bottom right of the envelope, that is where you would normally see my name and address.
I blacked it out for this article but the election’s employee will see my name and ballot. What if that person doesn’t like me?
How do I know someone with a personal issue with me won’t toss my ballot aside or not count it?
Now, to be clear, I don’t have any concerns with the workers at my election’s office but you can understand why this process is not nearly as “Secretive” or secure as “in-person” voting.
At least with the “in-person” voting, I know my ballot is cast and they have no way of telling which one is mine.
However, this election is what it is as this point.
Remember, ballots must be requested by 8:00 p.m. on May 19th and returned no later than 8:00 p.m. on June 2nd.
The time zone depends on where you live in Idaho.
The most important thing to remember is to research the candidates and learn where they stand on the issues. That includes races from state legislative candidates down to precinct committeeman.
Do your homework and then cast an educated vote!