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Judge rules on Idaho Democrats’ lawsuit to extend voting hours at 5 precincts

People wait to vote in the new polling place at the Hidden Springs Community Clubhouse.
People wait to vote in the new polling place at the Hidden Springs Community Clubhouse. Boise

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill has extended voting at five Boise precincts until 9 p.m. Mountain time Tuesday — the same time polls close in North Idaho, which is in Pacific time.

Early Tuesday afternoon, the Idaho Democratic party asked to extend voting time to 10 p.m. — by two hours — at the five Boise precincts.

Deputy Chief Clerk Phil McGrane said the court’s primary concern was for voters arriving to one of the old polling locations just before closing.

“We will have people at the old locations to help make sure people get to the right place,” he said.

The party’s request was in the form of a civil lawsuit. It named Ada County Clerk Christopher Rich and Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney as defendants.

Ada County changed the polling places for those precincts — 1602, 1711, 1806, 1810 and 1901 — this year.

The old polling places were:

▪ 1602: Collister United Methodist, 4400, W. Taft St., Boise

▪ 1711: Euclid Community Church of the Nazarene, 1308 W. Hale St., Boise

▪ 1806: Brookdale Assisted Living, Site No. 2, 739 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Boise

▪ 1810: Riverside Elementary School, 2100 E. Victory Road, Boise

▪ 1901: Hidden Springs Fire Department, 5871 W. Hidden Springs Dr., Boise

The new polling places are:

▪ 1602: Collister Community Church, 4709 W. State St., Boise

▪ 1711: 1173 W. University Dr., Boise

▪ 1806: Ada County Indigent Services, 252 E. Front St., Boise

▪ 1810: Our Lady of the Rosary, 1500 E. Wright St., Boise

▪ 1901: Hidden Springs Community Clubhouse, 5525 W. Hidden Springs Dr., Boise

 
 

Signs are placed at the former locations saying where the new location is and will be updated to indicate polling places will be open until 9 p.m., according to a news release from Ada County. All locations have free parking and will be accessible for voters with disabilities.

The Ada County Clerk’s office gave routine notification of the polling place changes, including ads in the Idaho Statesman, as required by law, said Phil McGrane, chief deputy clerk of Ada County. The office also sent mail to every voter in the five precincts to let them know of the change, McGrane said. That step isn’t required, he said.

Still, those efforts weren’t enough, said Dean Ferguson, spokesman for the Democratic party.

"That makes it pretty clear that at least a few people out there that didn't get the word," Ferguson said. "If one person doesn't get to vote, that's a problem. The burden was on Ada County to do this right, and they didn't."

Sven Berg: 208-377-6275, @IDS_SvenBerg

Audrey Dutton contributed.

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