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Denney: All Idaho voters will have to request absentee ballots for May primary

Idaho's secretary of state said all registered voters will be sent absentee ballot request forms in the next couple of weeks.

BOISE, Idaho — The COVID-19 pandemic has had wide-ranging impacts on everyday life for nearly everyone. And elections are no exception.

On Wednesday, Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney held a news conference to discuss the major changes being made for the upcoming state primary on May 19.

The biggest change is that all voters statewide will submit absentee ballots. There will be no in-person voting at the polls. You can request an absentee ballot here or by contacting your local county clerk.

"Given the growing number of coronavirus cases in Idaho, it simply was not safe for voters, election workers or the larger community to hold in-person voting for the May primary," the Secretary of State's Office said in a news release. "Having Idahoans request an absentee ballot and vote at home will protect the health of Idahoans, slow the spread of COVID-19, allow the election to move forward as scheduled and ensure that everyone can still exercise their right to vote."

RELATED: Idaho's May primary will now be done by mail due to coronavirus concerns

Voters must request ballots by May 19. Once their ballot arrives at their home, voters simply fill it out and mail it back using the pre-addressed envelope. All ballots must be received at county clerks' offices by June 2.

"We will be sending an absentee ballot request to every registered voter that has NOT already requested a ballot for May, so if you can't access IdahoVotes.gov, you don't need to worry," Denney said.

Request forms will be sent out within about two weeks, Denney said. Voters are advised to avoid waiting until May 19 to request their ballot or to vote. You can start today, and as soon as you receive your requested ballot, fill it out and mail it back in.

Another change with this election - official results won't be available until June 2.

Oregon Primary Information

Oregon is already a vote-by-mail state with a closed primary. Therefore, if you want to vote on a partisan race you must be registered to vote in either the Republican or Democratic party.  

The deadline to change your political party affiliation or to register to vote is April 28.

If you have moved, changed your mailing address or changed your name you must update your voter registration. This can be done online here, or you can pick up a voter registration card from an Oregon post office or request one from the Malheur County Clerks' Office.

Oregon ballots will be mailed to registered voters starting April 29. If you haven't received your ballot by May 8, call the Clerks' Office at (541) 473-5151. Completed ballots must be received by the Elections Office no later than 8 p.m. on May 19.

RELATED: Elections in limbo as coronavirus outbreak upends US primaries

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