Last Friday was a big day for county clerks in Idaho. They mailed out the first round of absentee ballots for the November general election.
In Ada County, 9,274 absentee ballots were mailed to voters last week. Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane calls it the kickoff to the November election. “We’ve received close to 500 absentee requests each day in the recent days, absentee ballots are pushing themselves pretty hard for this election.”
McGrane says Republicans and Democrats also encourage people to vote absentee. Ada County started really making an effort to push absentee voting four years ago. It worked, with about 70,000 people voting by mail. That’s out of around 200,000 registered voters.
McGrane says it’s a good way to avoid long lines at the polling booth. “So while we don’t want everyone to vote alternatively, we want some people because it’s this balancing game, we want so many people to show up at the polls, so many people to vote early and so many people to vote by mail.”
Ada County will mail out absentee ballots until Halloween. Early voting in person starts in the county on October 16. Other counties in Idaho have different early voting dates.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio