Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Idaho school board, city council and mayoral races to be decided Tuesday

An early voting dropbox outside Boise City Hall on May 5, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Mountain Sun)
Otto Kitsinger
An early voting dropbox outside Boise City Hall on May 5, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Mountain Sun)

Polls open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time for in-person voting

Polls will be open for in-person voting from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time across Idaho on Tuesday for a local Election Day that will help shape many city governments and school boards for the future.

Contested elections will vary across the state, depending where a voter lives. Some voters may have several local races to decide, while others may only have a sewer wastewater bond to weigh in on or, in some cases, nothing at all on the ballot. That’s one of the challenges of this year’s election, Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane said.

“There are several things on the ballots, but it’s also worth noting that a portion of the state won’t have anything to vote for,” McGrane said in an October telephone interview.

Here are a few examples around the Gem State.

Nampa, Caldwell, Garden City, Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene and Spirit Lake all have mayoral races to decide. On the other hand, there is no mayor election this year in Boise or Meridian.

But Boise and Meridian do have city council races to settle this year. There are new voting procedures in the Boise City Council races this year thanks to the passage of House Bill 413 from the 2020 legislative session. That new law divides Boise into six districts for electing council members. Seats in three of those districts are up for election this year. Now, only voters residing in a district with a seat up for election may vote, and they may only vote for candidates in their district. Previously, all Boise voters voted in all city council elections.

Caldwell, Nampa, Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and several other cities also have city council elections this year.

Patrons of the West Ada School District, Idaho’s largest district based on enrollment, have two school board races to decide. The Zone 1 race between Lori Frasure and Brent Hart has attracted attentionafter Frasure reported raising more than $12,000 through the online crowdfunding site GoFundMe.

Election Day FAQ:

How can I find out if I am registered to vote and where to vote?

Visit the Idaho Secretary of State’s Vote Idaho website to enter your address and double check whether you are registered to vote, the location of your precinct or the status of your absentee ballot.

What if I am not registered to vote?

Idaho allows same-day voter registration, which you can do at the polls when you go vote. Just bring a photo ID and proof of residency, such as a utility bill or your lease.

How can I find out what is on my ballot?

If you live in Ada County, you can enter your address on the Ada County Clerk’s elections website to view a sample ballot and double check the location of your polling place. If you don’t live in Ada County, contact your local county clerk’s office or county elections office to find out what is on your ballot. Many counties will have that information available online.

What if I still have my absentee ballot and haven’t turned it in yet?

No problem, but you better act quickly! Absentee ballots must be turned in to the local county clerk’s office by 8 p.m. local time on Election Day, Nov. 2, McGrane said. That’s the same time the polls close. By the time you are reading this article, it is too late to mail the absentee ballot back and have it arrive on time, so drop it off in person or at a designated absentee ballot dropbox.

Prepare for Election Day with these voter guides from Idaho journalists

To help get prepared, we’ve linked to several voter guides that Idaho news outlets produced. Take a look and be sure to visit each news organization’s homepage for the latest local coverage. (Some articles may require a subscription or appear behind a paywall).

  • Eleven vie for Boise City Council seats: Learn about each candidate plus the wastewater bond: Boise Dev.
  • Meet the candidates for Meridian City Council as you prepare to vote: Boise Dev.
  • Garden City voters to make picks for mayor, city council seats: Boise Dev.
  • Want to vote? Intelligently? Start here. Our Voter Guide for city, school elections: Idaho Statesman.
  • Five candidates vie for Caldwell mayor’s seat: Idaho Press.
  • Meet the candidates running for Caldwell City Council: Idaho Press.
  • Caldwell School District board candidates eager to continue service: Idaho Press.
  • Nampa mayoral candidates King, Smith share their views: Idaho Press.
  • Who is running for Nampa City Council? Meet the candidates: Idaho Press.
  • More school trustees seats are contested this election cycle than last: Idaho Education News.
  • Analysis: November’s school board elections reflect their turbulent time: Idaho Education News.
  • COVID protocols, indoctrination claims hover over East Idaho trustee elections:Idaho Education News.
  • Meet the candidates running for office in Gooding and Lincoln counties: Twin Falls Times-News.
  • Meet the 2021 candidates (Coeur d’Alene, Hayden and Post Falls): Coeur d’Alene Press.
  • Three seek two seats on Nez Perce City Council and Craigmont no-shows: Lewiston Tribune.
  • Four candidates vie for Culdesac City Council: Lewiston Tribune.
  • Kamiah mayor facing challenge from councilor: Lewiston Tribune.
The Idaho Capital Sun is a nonprofit news organization delivering accountability reporting on state government, politics and policy in the Gem state.