BOISE -- A handful of voters have reported problems at polling locations around the state, saying they were incorrectly told they couldn't vote using a Republican Party ballot.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Idaho says it has received reports from voters in Ada, Nez Perce, and Kootenai Counties that they were not allowed to register as a Republican voter at the polls. As a result, they could not vote in the closed Republican primary.
Dan Rogers, a voter in Boise, told KTVB he went to his 18th district polling location right as the polls opened and wanted to vote as a Republican. Rogers says he is currently unaffiliated and wanted to affiliate the day of the election.
So [the poll worker] sent me over to the voter registration table, and when I was there, a couple of the workers consulted, and I was informed that I was unable to vote in the primary for the Republicans unless I had been a declared member of the party since March 20, Rogers said.
Rogers says he was given the choice to take a Democratic Party ballot, an unaffiliated ballot (which only has judge's races on it), or to not vote today. He chose an unaffiliated or non-partisan ballot, but left disappointed.
I'm a little upset that I was not able to vote the way I wanted to vote, Rogers said. I don't think it was maliciousness on the part of the poll workers. I think it was just misinformation, and unfortunately while I was there, at least two or three other people were in the same situation as me and were not able to vote in the Republican primary like they wanted to.
Ada County Clerk Christopher Rich said the new process of the Republican closed primary has been confusing for voters and poll workers. This is the second election using the process.
We've been working on training 800 poll workers for the last few weeks on the process, Rich said. But as you can imagine, you have a line of people outside, everyone walks in the door, and they may forget for a moment of what they were supposed to do. The situation described is accurate. It's very unfortunate.
Here are some of the confusing, but accurate, rules for this statewide primary: If a voter is unaffiliated, he or she may register to affiliate with a party at the polls. If a voter is affiliated with a party, they may not change the day of the party. Only those registered as Republican may then cast a Republican ballot. Anyone may choose a Democrat or Non-Party ballot.
It's been a challenge, and I can't say everything has been perfect, but we've certainly tried to correct it as quickly as possible, Rich said.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Idaho began working on gathering statements from voters and calling the Ada County Elections Office. Initially, the organization planned to file complaints with the Secretary of State's Office, but it has since decided the issues were isolated and handled appropriately on the county level.