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Idaho Secretary of State asks for primary election postponement, urges absentee voting due to coronavirus concerns

“Please do your part to help us keep you and your neighbors safe by requesting your absentee ballot today."

BOISE, Idaho — Editor's note: The above video discusses Idaho's plans to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Idaho with regards to the May primary election.  

Idaho Secretary of State Lawrence Denney formally made a request Friday afternoon to Gov. Brad Little to postpone the May primary election and close all polling locations amid coronavirus outbreaks in Idaho.

The primary currently scheduled for May 19 is for all non-presidential federal, state and county races, including both of Idaho's U.S. House seats, the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Jim Risch, and all seats in the Idaho Legislature.

Although Denney has requested that elections be postponed, he and the state's 44 county clerks are working to promote absentee voting for the upcoming primary through the #VoteEarlyIdaho campaign.

“Please do your part to help us keep you and your neighbors safe by requesting your absentee ballot today,” Denney said in a press release. “This will give our county clerks and their teams more time to respond to the increased volume of requests under the current conditions.”

To make the process of receiving an absentee ballot easier for Idahoans, the Secretary of State's office created an online absentee ballot request available to registered Idaho voters who have a valid Idaho license or identification card, according to a press release.

Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck said in a press release that the request for absentee ballots has been significant in a short period of time.

“We only turned this on 48 hours ago, and in that short window of time, over 4,000 registered voters have requested their absentee ballot,” Houck said. “As we begin to promote this opportunity more broadly in the coming days, we hope to see that number grow substantially.”

Denney and Houck are encouraging all Idahoans to request their absentee ballots on the Idaho Votes website.

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Idaho COVID-19 latest:  Latest news | Map of confirmed Idaho cases | COVID-19 resources | Testing sites | Employers hiring | Closings | School closings | Full COVID-19 coverage 

At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus   

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