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.
The Idaho Secretary of State, who is in charge of elections statewide, has directed all counties to hold a mail in or absentee election for the upcoming PRIMARY ELECTION exclusively. Idaho has always allowed an absentee (mail in) vote option. It is nothing new. What is new is that an absentee ballot for this election will be the only way a person can vote. The traditional polling places will not be opened.
This does not change the general election format in November ... only the primary election next month. The reason behind the decision is twofold: First, to avoid spreading the Covid-19 virus, and second, to protect poll workers who tend to be older retired people.
As this is a primary election, each voter must request an ABSENTEE BALLOT appropriate to his or her party affiliation. Once that request is made, the County will mail each person an appropriate ABSENTEE BALLOT and a self addressed pre-stamped envelope to mail that ballot back. At this point it is simply a matter of marking your ballot per the instructions, putting it in an envelope, and mailing it back to the County Clerk.
So how do you request an ABSENTEE BALLOT? There are a number of options:
1. The Idaho Secretary of State has mailed to every registered voter a form to fill out and return to your county clerk. Of course mailing addresses change, people move, etc. so there are also other options. If you aren't a registered voter, you will not be mailed a form.
2. You can request a form be mailed to you online, on either the Clearwater County web page (www.clearwatercounty.org) (or the web site for whatever county you live in) or on the Secretary of State's webpage (www.idahovotes.gov)
3. You can pull up the form on either web site and print it, fill it out, and mail it to your county clerk. In Clearwater County the address is PO Box 586, Orofino, ID 83544.
4. You can fill out the form and submit it electronically at www.idahovotes.gov. This option requires GoogleChrome as your browser.
If you are not registered to vote, please contact your county clerk for instructions. For Clearwater County, the phone number is 208-476-5615.
Your Clearwater County Clerk, Carrie Bird, along with Clearwater County's elected officials have been intimately involved in the changes to voting procedures proposed and finally adopted by Governor Little and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, to protect the interests of Clearwater County voters and ensure that a fair and reasonable election will be held. We will continue doing so on your behalf, and are comfortable with the plan outlined by Secretary of State Denney. We wish to dispel the conspiracy rumors being spread by some individuals, and urge everyone to exercise their right to vote with the confidence that your vote will be properly counted. If anyone has questions, please contact the Clearwater County Clerk's Office at 208-476-5615.
For an Absentee Application Request Form CLICK HERE