If you have plans to vote in the Idaho May 2020 Primary elections be sure to request an absentee ballot before the end of the day May 19. Because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) the governor and secretary of state decided to hold elections by mail only this year to prevent large crowds gathering at polling locations and protect election day workers.

The Idaho Secretary of State Lawrence Denny sent out primary ballot request postcards out earlier in May to registered voters. The forms come already filled out with the voters information and only required people to fill out the specific ballot they wanted to vote on and sign them. The request postcards are held together with temporary adhesive and need to be separated from instructions provided with them. The postcards have pre-paid postage and only need to be dropped back in the mail before the end of the day on May 19, or dropped off directly at the local county clerks office before 8 p.m, most have drop boxes. The postcards are already pre-addressed to the local county clerks office where the registered voter lives. Once the voter receives their absentee ballot they need to return it by 8 p.m. June 2, 2020. Ballots will be counted that evening and results will be published the same night.

The Secretary of State's Office said they did have a number of request postcards returned directly to its office inside envelopes and had to be redirected to the appropriate county clerks office. “Over the last week, we’ve seen some voters who have put their ballot request form in an envelope and mailed it to the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office,” said Chad Houck, Idaho’s Chief Deputy Secretary in a prepared statement. “We are rerouting all of the ballot request forms we’ve received to the appropriate county elections office in order to make sure voters receive their ballots in time for the upcoming election. However, we want to remind voters who haven’t mailed in their ballot request forms yet that all they need to do is to fill out the form and put it in the mail. Voters do not need to put the form in an envelope or add any postage. Those who have already requested their ballot either online or by paper form from their county clerk for this election need not send in a second request.”

If you want to vote but did not receive an absentee request form you can go to Idahovotes.gov or contact the local county clerks office, again before 8 p.m. May 19.