TWIN FALLS — More than 500 people have already cast their votes in elections happening around Twin Falls County.
That’s slightly higher than what’s typical for early voting in city elections. The county also mailed out 147 absentee ballots. But that’s still only a small portion of the 27,590 Twin Falls County residents who will be eligible to vote in this election.
Voters who live in cities and taxing districts around the state will hit the polls today to select their representatives in local government. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Twin Falls County Clerk Kristina Glascock said many of those who voted early were poll workers. She expects the county will have overall low turnout of eligible voters.
In 2015, voter turnout in Twin Falls County was 19 percent — up from the 2013 elections, when only 12 percent of voters cast ballots.
In Twin Falls city, voter turnout in 2015 was 16 percent, but smaller cities had larger turnouts; more than 30 percent in Castleford, Hansen, Hollister and Kimberly.
If you weren’t one of the early voters, here’s what you need to know before you head to the polls:
Can I register to vote
at my polling place?
If you have never registered to vote but are eligible to, you can register at a polling place on Election Day.
You will need to bring your driver’s license number or provide the last four digits of a Social Security number. Eligible voters must also be a U.S. citizen, 18 years old or older and be a resident in the state and county for at least 30 days prior to Election Day.
Proof of residence can be a valid Idaho driver’s license or identification card, or any document with a valid address in the precinct combined with picture identification. Students can use a current student ID (with their picture) from a post-secondary school in the state, combined with a current student fee statement that includes the student’s valid address in the precinct.
What do I need to bring with me to vote?
Everyone who intends to vote should bring identification to the polling place. This can be a valid Idaho driver’s license or ID card issued by the Idaho Department of Transportation; a passport or ID card issued by an agency of the federal government; a tribal ID card that includes a photograph; or a student ID card that has a photograph and is issued by a high school or accredited institution of higher education in Idaho; or a license to carry concealed weapons.
“If they don’t have any of those on them, and they are already registered, they can sign an affidavit,” Glascock said.
Where is my polling location?
Your precinct is listed on the letter you received when you registered to vote. If you’re not sure where your precinct’s voting location is, you can check at idahovotes.gov or call your county clerk’s office.
The county clerk can also tell you if your registration information is up-to-date and if you’re eligible to vote in this election, since it affects only residents of cities and certain taxing districts.
Here are the phone numbers for county clerk’s offices in south-central Idaho:
Blaine County: 208-788-5505
Camas County: 208-764-2242
Cassia County: 208-878-5231
Gooding County: 208-934-4841
Jerome County: 208-644-2714
Lincoln County: 208-886-7641, ext. 101
Minidoka County: 208-436-7111
Twin Falls County: 208-736-4004
I forgot to mail in my absentee ballot. Can I still vote?
Absentee ballots have to be brought in to your county clerk’s office before polls close on Election Day. So even if you end up being in town, you can’t bring it directly to your polling place or try to vote there.
“If you already requested an absentee ballot, that is your ballot,” Glascock said.
What are the races?
If you haven’t kept up with local coverage, many counties have sample ballots along with election information on their websites. You can also find a Times-News voters guide at Magicvalley.com or by purchasing the Oct. 29 paper.
If I don’t like any of the candidates in a race, can I write one in?
Technically, yes. But unless it’s one of the few people who filed to be write-in candidates in a specific race, then you’re wasting your time.
“All of the Mickey Mouses and Donald Ducks that we get are not counted,” Twin Falls County Elections Director Valerie Varadi said.
Where will the results be posted?
Keep an eye on coverage for south-central Idaho elections at Magicvalley.com.