2014 primary election: Early voting almost here

STATESMAN STAFFApril 20, 2014 

IMPORTANT DATES

April 21 to May 16: Canyon County in-person early voting.

April 28 to May 16: Ada County in-person early voting.

May 14: Last day to request mail-in absentee ballots.

May 20: Election Day, polls open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Absentee ballots must be returned to county clerks' offices by 8 p.m.

VOTING OPTIONS

Early voting: Avoid Election Day lines by voting early or voting by mail.

Ada County early voting takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at the Ada County Elections Office, 400 N. Benjamin Lane in Boise.

Canyon County early voting takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the Canyon County Elections Office, 1102 E. Chicago St. in Caldwell.

For information on early voting in other counties, contact the county elections office.

Vote by mail/absentee: Registered voters may request an absentee ballot until 5 p.m. May 14.

Absentee ballot request forms are available at www.idahovotes.gov.

You also may request an absentee ballot in person or in writing from your county clerk's office.

Written requests must list your complete name and address and the address you want it mailed to, and it must be signed by you.

Election Day: All voters will be asked to show photo ID or sign an affidavit attesting to their identification.

Look up where you vote via IdahoVotes.gov or the Ada or Canyon county election websites. Or call Ada County Elections at 287-6860 or Canyon County Elections at 454-7562 to confirm your polling place.

Not registered to vote? You may register during early voting or on Election Day at your polling place.

CLOSED GOP PRIMARY

This will be Idaho's second closed Republican primary election. Idaho's first closed primary took place in 2012. Because of the Republicans' new rule, only those who affiliate Republican may select the Republican ballot. Because the Democrats' primary is open, a voter of any affiliation may select a Democratic ballot.

The deadline to change party affiliations was March 14.

New or unaffiliated voters may declare themselves Republicans during early voting or on Election Day. Also, anyone who must reregister to vote due to a name or address change may change their affiliation then.

WHICH BALLOT?

Voters must select one of three ballots: Republican, Democratic or nonpartisan. Once the poll worker hands you a ballot, you may not change your mind.

People who are affiliated Republican may select any of the three ballots.

People who are affiliated with the Constitution, Democratic or Libertarian parties may select the Democratic or nonpartisan ballot.

Voters who choose to remain unaffiliated may select the Democratic or the nonpartisan ballot.

You need to know this: The nonpartisan ballot contains only judicial races and a few special district bonds or levies.

In the November general election, every voter will receive the same ballot, so affiliations don't matter. And if you decide not to vote in the May primary, you will not have to reregister to vote in November.

WHAT'S ON BALLOT?

Three federal offices, all statewide offices and legislative seats, and several county offices are on the ballot.

Of course, it always helps to know what - or who - you're voting for. Our online Voter Guide features candidate bios and position statements for federal and statewide races, along with Treasure Valley legislative and county races. Look for it Friday, April 25, at IdahoStatesman.com/elections or in our Idaho Statesman and Idaho Politics apps.

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

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