BLACKFOOT – Bingham County commissioners met with Danette Miller and the rest of the Voter Registration Department to discuss polling locations for the Nov. 3 elections. They were joined by county clerk Pam Eckhardt to discuss the numbers of ballots from previous elections.
Miller started by explaining that all of the previous polling locations have confirmed they are ready to allow voters to cast their ballots at their facilities. All 28 precincts are prepared, including the absentee precinct for the county that is numerically listed as precinct 31.
She noted that they will be sending nearly 20 ballots overseas to those serving their country so they are able to cast their votes and have already seen an influx of requests for absentee ballots.
Nearly 25 percent of registered voters in Bingham County have requested an absentee ballot according to Miller with over 6,000 being sent out. Those absentee ballots can be expected to start rolling out Oct. 5.
Bingham County will be utilizing all 16 polling locations, which tend to be schools or other public facilities, and will start accepting early voting on Oct. 13. Early voting will be completed by the end of October just prior to standard voting.
Commissioner Whitney Manwaring verified that the Voter Registration Department of the county has a working plan in place to prevent someone from casting their vote as an absentee and in person, whether it be accidental or malicious. When someone requests an absentee ballot, it is marked in the poll book that is sent to the location that the person signs when they present their identification. If that is already marked, a call must be made to the county courthouse to verify if that person has returned their absentee ballot. If they have, they are turned away until the next election. However, if they have not turned in their absentee ballot at that point, they are allowed to cast their vote at the polls.
Miller said they are expecting a nearly 70 percent turnout for the election this fall, which is on track with what they have seen traditionally. They are also expecting a larger turnout than normal in Fort Hall similar to when Paulette Jordan ran for Idaho governor against Brad Little.
As a reminder, they will be accepting absentee ballots at the courthouse in the drop box, not at the polling locations. Voters are asked to not take an absentee ballot to a polling location in hopes of hand delivering it to someone as they simply are not legally allowed to take it. Either mail an absentee ballot or drop it in the drop box. For any other questions call the Voter Registration Department at the Bingham County Courthouse.