Politics & Government

The last day to register to vote before Election Day in Ada County is Friday. Here’s what to do.

Idaho, you can register to vote online now. Here’s how.

This PSA video gives a 30-second summary of Idaho's new option for online voter registration.
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This PSA video gives a 30-second summary of Idaho's new option for online voter registration.

Friday is the last day to register to vote in Ada County before Election Day, which is Tuesday, Nov. 6. There is plenty at stake in the midterm elections: the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state superintendent seats are all up for grabs.

There are also key measures to vote on, including Proposition 1, which would legalize historical horse racing, and Proposition 2, which would expand Medicaid.

According to the Ada County Clerk’s Office, 31, 264 people have registered to vote in 2018 so far, which is on par with a presidential election year, according to Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane. In 2016, there were around 27,000 voter registrations by the end of September; in 2014, that number was close to 13,000. There were around 26,000 registrations at the end of September 2018, McGrane said.

The reason for the upward tick in recent years? Online registration.

“One of the big things that we’re definitely seeing … is the availability of online registration,” McGrane said. “You can see that in the numbers.”

This year’s breakdown of new voters is as follows: 39 percent Republican, 26 percent Democrat, 33 percent unaffiliated and 2 percent Libertarian.

More than half of the registrants (52 percent) are female. According to the Ada County Clerk’s Office, 47 percent of those who registered in 2018 are millennials.

If not registered to vote by Friday, voters will have to register on Election Day.

To register in person, fill out this form and turn it in to the Ada County Elections Office at 400 N. Benjamin Lane Suite 100 Boise, Idaho 83704. An absentee ballot can be filled out and returned to the same address. To register online, visit Idaho Votes.

The benefits of registering to vote are immense, McGrane said.

“The benefit of registering right now … (is) it will save additional time at the poll,” McGrane said. “If you get in and get it done, you will save yourself a wait at the polls.”

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