Your Election Day Primer

Nov 6, 2012

Ballots lined up and ready to ship out to Ada County precincts.
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

If you haven’t taken advantage of absentee or early in person voting, today’s the big day.  It’s time to get out to the polls and vote.  Here's what you’ll need for a smooth voting experience.

Step One: Getting to the polls.  This year the state’s political lines were re-drawn to reflect changes in population.  That means you could be voting in a different district today.  You may not be going to that familiar school or church to vote.  Check with your county clerk or the Secretary of State to see if your voting spot has changed. 

Step Two: Make sure you're registered.  Idaho has same-day registration so you can sign up to vote today.  More than 38,000 people signed up to vote on Election Day in 2008 in Ada County.  To register, bring a photo ID, preferably with your current address on it.  Or you can bring a photo ID along with a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document that shows your name and current address.   

Step Three:  You’ll need a photo ID to vote.  Idaho’s voter ID law is only two years old and infrequent voters haven’t encountered it yet.  To vote, you’ll need a photo ID, such as an Idaho driver’s license or a photo ID card from the Idaho Transportation Department.  You can also use a U-S passport or federal photo ID card.  A tribal photo ID will also work.  And so will a current student photo ID, issued by an Idaho high school or university.  

But if you don’t have an ID, you can sign a Personal Identification Affidavit to prove your identity.  Once you’ve signed the form, you’ll be able to vote. 

Step Four:  Getting your ballot.  The May election, where Republicans closed their primary, caused some confusion.  Voters had to pick a party affiliation and then choose one of three different ballots.  This time around, party affiliation isn’t a factor.  And there’s only one ballot, which lists all the candidates from all the parties.  Just remember to fill out the front, and the back, of each page on the ballot. 

Polls close at 8 tonight. 

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio