May 15 primary voting information

Even though the May primary is about a month away, absentee voting is already under way and early voting starts soon.

Here's what you need to know to vote:

Important dates
April 23 through May 11: Canyon County in-person early voting.
April 30 through May 11: Ada County in-person early voting.
May 9 Last day to request mail-in absentee ballot.
May 15. Election Day, polls open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Absentee ballots must be returned to county clerk’s office by 8 p.m.

New and longtime Idaho voters need to be aware of several significant changes to Idaho elections this year.

CLOSED REPUBLICAN PRIMARY

The only electors who can vote on the Republican ballot in May’s primary are those who have affiliated with the Republican Party.

You can declare your affiliation on Election Day when you vote. You can also declare it when you request an absentee ballot or vote early in-person.

Members of the Democratic, Republican, Constitution or Libertarian parties and those who do not affiliate with any party can vote the Democratic ballot if they so choose.

Anyone who has not declared a party affiliation by the 2012 primary election will be registered as an unaffiliated voter. If you have already declared your affiliation, you cannot change it until after the election, unless you are re-registering to vote because of a name or address change.

An elector can vote only one party ballot, and the poll book and registered voter history will reflect which ballot the elector voted.

Party registration requirements have no effect on general election procedures. At general elections, all voters receive exactly the same ballot and may vote for any candidate whose name appears on it, without regard to the political affiliation of the candidate or the voter.

REDISTRICTING

Boundary lines of Congressional or Legislative districts may have changed: View the new map here.

WHO CAN VOTE

U.S. citizens 18 or older who have been a resident of the Idaho and in the county for at least 30 days may vote.

Find out if you are registered to vote here, or call Ada County Elections, 287-6860, or Canyon County Elections, 454-7562.

If you are not registered to vote, you must wait until Election Day to register at your polling location with proof of residency: an Idaho driver’s license or photo ID; a U.S. passport or federal photo ID; or a current student photo ID issued by an Idaho high school or college.

HOW TO VOTE

Vote by mail: Registered voters can request an absentee ballot until 5 p.m. May 9. Ballots must be returned to the county elections office by 8 p.m. Election Day, May 15.

• Ada County: To request an absentee ballot, go to the Ada County Elections Office, 400 W. Benjamin Lane, Boise, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or request an absentee ballot here.
• Canyon County: To request a ballot, go to the Canyon County Elections Office, 1102 E. Chicago, Caldwell, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays or request an absentee ballot here.

Early voting: Registered voters can vote in person at their county elections office.
• Ada County early voting takes place April 30 to May 11 at 400 N. Benjamin Lane, Boise, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
• Canyon County early voting takes place April 23 to May 11 at 1102 E. Chicago St., Caldwell, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Vote on Election Day: The polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 15.

Redistricting may have changed the location of your polling place. Find your polling place here, or call Ada County Elections at 287-6860 or Canyon County Elections at 454-7562.

Don’t forget to bring ID. Idaho law now requires photo identification to vote.

Contact information:

Ada County Elections, 400 N. Benjamin St., Boise, 287-6860 or elections@adaweb.net.

Canyon County Elections, 1102 E Chicago, Caldwell, 454-7562 or electionsclerk@canyonco.org.

Idaho Secretary of State, 334-2852 or elections@sos.idaho.gov.