By Reader Staff
Bonner County Elections had mailed almost 12,500 absentee ballots as of Oct. 6 and, according to Bonner County Clerk Mike Rosedale, received about 4,000 completed ballots back. It’s just the beginning of what’s sure to be a contentious November election drawing heavy voter participation, which is prompting the Elections office to share important tips and dates to ensure the balloting goes as smoothly as possible for the people of Bonner County.
First and foremost, Rosedale said, this election will be “normal,” meaning that all of the usual polling places will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
However, absentee ballots are available to all who request them. Find the absentee ballot request form at idahovotes.gov, download it, fill it out and send it via email to [email protected]; send it through the mail to ELECTIONS, Bonner County Administration Building, Suite 124, Sandpoint, ID 83864; or deliver it to the Elections office in person.
Rosedale said that during the May primary election, which was conducted entirely through mail-in ballots per Gov. Brad Little’s mandate amid the first few months of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many voters checked a box asking that their November ballot also be absentee — whether they remember or not. Everyone who requested their November ballot that way should have already received it in the mail, and can send it to the Elections office with the provided postage or deliver it in person to a locked ballot box outside the Elections suite.
Voters can also take their absentee ballot to their precinct on Election Day, where a poll worker will void it before issuing a new ballot.
Those wishing to verify that elections officials received their completed ballot can visit idahovotes.gov and select “Check Your Voter Record.”
Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 19 at the Bonner County Administration Building, located at 1500 Highway 2 in Sandpoint. Hours for early voting are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Rosedale said early voting has been well attended in past years, so “there may be a bit of a wait.”
“We live in the most beautiful part of Idaho! Let’s show the rest of the country what civility looks like in action,” Rosedale shared in a news release Oct. 6. “We are neighbors, many of us family, and many of us co-workers. We all share the bond of calling this place home, where we get our peace. Thank you all for making and keeping this the best place on earth!”
Important general election dates for 2020
• Friday, Oct. 9: Last day to pre-register to vote, but voters may also do so on election day at their polling location (bring photo ID and proof of residence) or during early voting. Also register online at idahovotes.gov with a current Idaho driver’s license.
• Monday, Oct. 19: Early voting begins at the Bonner County Administration Building.
• Friday, Oct. 23: Last day to submit absentee ballot requests, which must reach the elections office by 5 p.m. or be submitted online by midnight.
• Friday, Oct. 30: Final day for early voting. There is no early voting the Monday before the election.
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