The May primary: What you need to know

Early voting, already going in Canyon County, starts Monday in Ada.

csewell@idahostatesman.comApril 27, 2014 

STATESMAN ARCHIVE PHOTO

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 lines by voting early or 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 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. 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 site.

CLOSED GOP PRIMARY

This will be Idaho's second closed Republican primary election. 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 your party affiliation was March 14. New or unaffiliated voters may still declare themselves Republicans during early voting or on Election Day. Also, anyone who must register again because of a name or address change may change party 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.

Unaffiliated voters may select the Democratic or the nonpartisan ballot.

You need to know: 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 won't matter.

If you decide not to vote in the primary, you will not have to register again in November.

WHAT'S ON BALLOT?

Three federal offices, all statewide offices and legislative seats, and several county offices are at stake.

SEE OUR VOTER GUIDE

Of course, it always helps to know what - or whom - you're voting for. Our online Voter Guide can help. It features candidate biographies and position statements for federal and statewide races, along with Treasure Valley legislative and county races. You can compare candidates side by side, reading their responses and information. The guide went live Friday at IdahoStatesman.com/elections. You also can find it on 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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