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Clearwater County was established February 27, 1911, by the State of Idaho under the provisions of House Bill No. 2 of the Eleventh Session of the State of Idaho; Clearwater County was named for the Clearwater River whose name was translated from the Nez Perce term Koos-Koos-Kai-Kai, describing clear water. 

In 1805 Lewis and Clark followed an old Indian trail between the north and middle forks of the Clearwater River and met the Nez Perce near the present site of Weippe, Idaho.  Gold was first discovered by E.D. Pierce in 1860 and Pierce City and the oldest mining town in Idaho came into existence and was home to the first courthouse in Idaho.

Clearwater County was formed from Nez Perce County which was a part of Shoshone County from 1864 until 1904, when it then became established as a part of Nez Perce County from 1904 until 1911.  February 27, 2011 marked the 100th anniversary of the creation of Clearwater County. 

As of 5:00 PM Wednesday, March 25, 2020 the Clearwater County Courthouse and satellite offices are closed to the public. Essential departments will be staffed and will be available to assist people by telephone.  If you require a necessary service, please call that department for instructions.  If no one answers, please leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as they can.  

County phone numbers:
Commissioners                        208-476-3615
Ambulance Department         208-476-3771
Assessor                                    208-476-7042
Automobile License                208-476-4912
Auditor/Recorder/Elections   208-476-5615
Building and Planning             208-476-4815
Court Office                              208-476-5596
Driver’s License                        208-476-8970
Emergency Management       208-476-4064
Extension Office                       208-476-4434
Juvenile Court Services           208-476-9725
Prosecutor                                208-476-5611
Road Department                   208-476-4813
Rural Addressing & GIS          208-476-9989
Social Services                         208-476-3864
Sheriff                                        208-476-4521
Treasurer                                   208-476-5213
Transfer Station                      208-476-7903

To obtain an absentee ballot for the May 19, 2020 Primary Election CLICK HERE  or you can access the request form by CLICKING HERE then mail it to the Clearwater County Auditor's Office, PO Box 586, Orofino, ID 83544 and they will mail the ballot to you.  If you have any questions about the May Primary Election call 208-476-5615.

Absentee ballot applications will be mailed to anyone who is  currently registered to vote, does not already reside in a mail ballot precinct, and has not already requested an absentee ballot for this election.  These will be mailed out the third week of April.  If you are not currently registered to vote, please go to idahovotes,gov and register to vote.   Registration cards and Absentee Ballot Applications are also available at the drop box in the courthouse garage.  Completed  registrations and applications can be returned at the drop box or mailed to Clearwater County Elections,  P O Box 586, Orofino, ID 83544.


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