Friday, September 30, 2011

New state rules affect absentee voters

Ballots to be distributed, processed at county office


Express Staff Writer

Due to changes enacted by the state Legislature, Idaho voters have to follow new regulations for the Nov. 8 elections. Among revisions is a change to absentee voting rules that will affect large numbers of voters, particularly in Sun Valley, where about two-thirds of residents typically vote absentee.

Voters who wish to receive an absentee ballot by mail must request one from the County Clerk's Office, according to Blaine County Election Clerk Amy Rivkin. Counties are now in charge of elections, rather than taxing districts, such as cities or cemetery districts, as in previous years.

"Ballots will not be mailed out automatically [to those who voted absentee in the past]," she said.

Voters who choose to fill out a ballot before Election Day must do so at the courthouse.

"If requesting an absentee ballot in person, they must vote here," Rivkin said. "Voters can't take a ballot and leave."

No other polling places will be set up until Election Day.

Rivkin said no date to begin absentee voting has been set, but a date likely will be announced in early October. The last day to submit an absentee ballot is Friday, Nov. 4.

Voters also must show photo identification or sign a personal identification affidavit. Acceptable forms of photo ID include an Idaho driver's license or photo identification card, a U.S. passport or federal photo ID card, a tribal photo ID card or a current student photo ID issued by an Idaho high school or post-secondary education institution.

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