BOISE — Idaho elections officials are aiming for 1 million registered voters in the state this year, many of whom are expected to vote by mail as the pandemic makes normal voting more complicated.
Already, 330,000 Idahoans have requested absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 presidential election, with at least 100,000 of those coming from Ada County, the most populous county in the state.
“I would expect that we would see at least 50% vote absentee in this election,” Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said Tuesday during an elections Q&A with the Ada and Twin Falls county clerks, broadcast by KTVB.
In the November 2016 presidential election, 936,529 Idahoans were registered to vote, and 76% of them cast a ballot. The goal this year is to get the number of registered voters up to 1 million, said Christina Glascock, Twin Falls County clerk.
Registering is simple if a resident has an Idaho driver’s license or Department of Motor Vehicles-issued identification card. Go to idahovotes.gov to register and request an absentee ballot. Idahovotes.gov offers an online form, or registered voters can request a ballot from their county clerk’s office with a paper form.
The pandemic has disrupted Idaho’s normal voting processes, and the state has been working with the federal government to try to adjust on the fly, Denney said.
“We received two different federal grants this year … the first earmarked for election infrastructure and security … and the second for COVID,” Denney said. Both grants were worth over $3 million.
At the local level, Teton County just received a $5,000 grant from the nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life to cover the added expense of COVID precautions.