AARP Eye Center
En español | Idaho offers several ways to register to vote, and all registered voters are eligible to vote absentee.
There are no statewide elections in Idaho in 2023. Local elections can be found via Idaho’s Elections Calendar.
Elections in Idaho in 2024 include races for the U.S. House of Representatives, state Supreme Court and other state offices. The primaries (excluding presidential primaries at this stage) will be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, and the general election will be on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2024.
- Upcoming elections: Information about upcoming elections is available on the Idaho elections website.
- Absentee voting: Idaho is a no-excuse voting state, allowing all registered voters to vote absentee.
- In-person voting on Election Day: All counties must offer either early voting or in-person absentee voting. Contact your county clerk’s office to find out which option is available in your county.
- Voting at the polls: Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Find your polling place on the state elections website.
Have there been recent changes to voting in Idaho?
Yes. In 2023, a new law was enacted that excludes student IDs from the list of acceptable IDs for voter registration and removes them as an option to prove residency. Another new law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, that also removes student IDs from the list of acceptable IDs for voting.
A new law eliminates Idaho’s presidential primary elections. Political parties are currently left with the choice of holding a caucus, holding a variation of a caucus, or running and paying for their own primary election, according to Secretary of State Phil McGrane via the Idaho Capital Sun.
Both the Republican and Democratic State Central Committees have passed resolutions calling on the Idaho Legislature to reinstate the March primary presidential elections by Oct. 1, 2023. To date, no special session has been announced. Both parties plan to hold caucuses if the primary is not reinstated by that date.
Idaho's 2022 state legislative redistricting plan redrew the boundaries of districts across the state, changing which candidates will appear on voters' ballots. You can check which district you are voting in on the state elections website.
How do I register to vote?
- Online: Use the state’s online portal to register to vote or update an existing registration. You must have a valid Idaho driver’s license or an identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles to complete your online voter registration. If you do not have either, you must register to vote by mail or in person.
- By mail: Download a voter registration form, print it and mail the completed application to your county clerk’s office. Your application must be postmarked 25 days prior to Election Day. If you miss the deadline, Idaho also allows Election Day registration at your polling place. Find more information on the state elections website.
- In person: Visit your county clerk’s office to pick up a voter registration form. Or call the state elections office at 208-334-2852 or send an email to email@example.com to request one be mailed to you. Fill it out and drop it off at your county clerk’s office 25 days prior to Election Day or at your polling place on Election Day.
To register to vote, you are required to present an approved photo ID. If the address on your ID doesn’t match your current address, you must also include a proof of residence document. Note that student IDs are no longer accepted. You must also provide an Idaho driver’s license or state-issued ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Contact your county clerk’s office if you cannot meet those requirements.
Does my party affiliation matter when I vote?
Idaho law allows political parties to open their primary elections to unaffiliated voters and members of other political parties. The party must notify the Secretary of State six months prior to the primary if the party intends to open it up.
New voters can designate a party affiliation when registering to vote. Existing voters can change their affiliations by filing a Party Affiliation Declaration form with the county clerk. Deadline information for each type of voter is available on Idaho’s elections website.
How can I get an absentee ballot?
Apply for an absentee ballot:
- Online: Use the state’s online request form. To apply online, you must be registered to vote and include your valid state driver’s license number and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
- By mail or phone: Contact your county clerk’s office to have an absentee ballot application mailed to you.
- In person: Pick up an absentee ballot application at your county clerk’s office.
Submit your completed absentee ballot by mail or in person at your county clerk’s office by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Can I track my absentee ballot?
Can I vote in person before Election Day?
Early voting in Idaho is organized on a county-by-county basis. All counties must offer either early voting or in-person absentee balloting, which takes place at your county clerk’s office. Contact your county clerk’s office to find out which option is available in your district and how to cast your ballot ahead of Election Day.
What do I need to know about voting at the polls on Election Day?
Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, although county clerks may open polls as early as 7 a.m. Use the elections website’s online tool to find your polling place.
Do I need identification to vote?
Yes. All registered voters must present an approved photo ID, such as a state driver’s license, a U.S. passport or a tribal photo identification card. A list of acceptable IDs, which now excludes student IDs, is on the state elections website. If you do not have an approved photo ID, you’ll be given a Personal Identification Affidavit to sign, in which you swear to your identity under a felony penalty of perjury.
Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Aug. 1, 2023. The guide was first published on July 28, 2020.