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Canyon County voters urged to vote absentee leading up to Idaho’s general election

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The line to vote at Middleton Middle School snaked through the gymnasium, through the foyer and out the door, as voters waited up to an hour there to cast their ballots in Idaho’s 2022 primary election. (Courtesy of Becky Swain)

Voters in Canyon County are encouraged to vote absentee on Nov. 8 to help reduce long lines and wait times on Election Day, according to a press release from the Canyon County Elections Office.

Canyon County Clerk Chris Yamamoto said in the release that the two-page ballot in the May primary led to an average wait time of 30 minutes, with some voters waiting up to two hours to cast a ballot.

“The November ballot is four pages, so we expect those wait times to increase even more. That is why we are pushing for more people to vote absentee, because it’s the most effective way to reduce the crowds on Election Day,” Yamamoto said in the release.

The last day to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 28. Voters can request an absentee ballot at voteidaho.gov, or download an absentee request form from www.canyoncounty.id.gov/elections. Completed absentee ballots must be returned to the Canyon County Elections Office no later than 8 p.m. Nov. 8.

Voters can also help reduce the wait times on Election Day by taking advantage of the early voting period between Oct. 24 to Nov. 4, the release said. Early voting will be available at the elections office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday during the two-week period.

If you plan to vote at the polls on Election Day, the elections office provided these tips in the release:

  • Be Prepared. Do your homework beforehand so you know what will be on your ballot. The League of Women Voters website offers personalized, nonpartisan voter information to help educate voters about their ballot and see the information provided by the candidates. Sample ballots are also available now at the elections office.
  • Make sure you are registered to vote. While Election Day registration is allowed in Idaho, voters are encouraged to pre-register before the Oct. 14 deadline to further reduce the lines and wait times on Election Day. Voters can check their voter registration and/or register to vote here.
  • Know where your polling location is. Voting on Election Day is precinct-specific, so voters must go to their designated polling location in order to cast their ballot. Voters can visit the Voter Lookup app on the county’s website and type in their address to find their polling location.
  • Pack your patience. With the four-page ballot in November, voters should expect longer than usual lines and wait times at their polling locations on Election Day. Be respectful of the poll workers and your fellow voters.

For information, contact the Canyon County Elections Office at 208-454-7562.

The Idaho Capital Sun is a nonprofit news organization delivering accountability reporting on state government, politics and policy in the Gem state. As longtime Idahoans ourselves, we understand the challenges and opportunities facing Idaho. We provide in-depth reporting on legislative and state policy, health care, tax policy, the environment, Idaho’s explosive population growth and more. Our mission is relentless investigative journalism that sheds light on how decisions in Boise and beyond are made and how they affect everyday Idahoans. We aim to tell untold stories and provide data, context and analysis on the issues that matter most throughout the state. The Capital Sun is part of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers. We retain full editorial independence.