BOISE, Idaho — U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill has ruled that Idahoans will have until Tuesday, May 26 to request an absentee ballot for the May primary election.
The extension was granted Friday evening after a hearing in Boise.
The ruling comes after Nicholas Jones, a candidate for Congress in District one, claimed the Idaho Secretary of State’s website, where voters go to request an absentee ballot, repeatedly crashed on the deadline day – Tuesday. It seems many voters waited until the last minute to take part in the state’s first-ever mail-in election.
Jones won his case and voters now have until Tuesday at 8 p.m. local time to ask for a mail-in ballot. The June 2nd deadline for ballots to be returned remains unchanged.
Secretary of State Lawerence Denney sent out a letter to county clerks Friday evening outlining the details of the extension granted by the court.
Voters may email the signed form directly to email@example.com or use the drop box in front of the Elections Office, located at 400 N. Benjamin Lane in Boise.
Any requests sent by mail will miss the Tuesday deadline. The deadline for registering to vote in the May Primary was not extended.
“While we will do our best to expedite ballot delivery for these requests, there are unavoidable logistical challenges that we face in mailing ballots to voters prior to the June 2 deadline to vote. Many voters who request a ballot in this extended window will likely receive their ballot in the mail just before or on June 2nd. Based on this narrow timeline, the only way to guarantee our office receives the ballot for counting is to physically deliver it to the drop box at our Elections office before 8 p.m. on June 2,” said Phil McGrane, Ada County Clerk.
As of Friday, 415,000 ballots had been requested. The Secretary of State’s office says if everyone who requested a ballot votes, it would be the highest turnout for a primary election that did not involve a governor’s race in state history.
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