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Voter Guide: Idaho's presidential primaries set for March 10

Idaho Democrats are opting for a state-run primary rather than a caucus for 2020.

BOISE, Idaho — Editor's note: The above video is about the testing of new voter registration technology in Idaho.

The Idaho Republican, Democratic, and Constitution parties will hold presidential primaries on Tuesday, March 10.

That is in addition to the regular Idaho Primary Election set for May 19, when voters will choose party nominees for the Idaho Legislature, county offices, both U.S. House seats, and the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho).

To vote in the Republican presidential primary in March or the regular primary in May, you must declare affiliation with the Republican Party. That can be done in advance or at your polling place when you go to vote.

Unaffiliated voters are allowed to vote in the Democratic and Constitution party primaries, but not the Republican primary.

The Idaho Secretary of State has posted online information about the parties' participation as well as a list of the candidates in the presidential primaries.

In-person early voting for the presidential primaries will begin February 24 in the counties that offer it.

More voter resources are available on the Idaho Votes page.

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The Idaho Democratic Party held county caucuses rather than a primary in 2016. Thousands attended the Ada County caucus at CenturyLink Arena and the Boise Centre. That was believed to be one of the largest single-site caucuses in the nation, but was also marked by long lines and a process that took several hours. The party announced in 2018 that it would switch from using caucuses to a state-run primary for 2020.

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Idaho Democrats will still hold County Delegate Selection Caucuses, where on April 4 counties will select delegates to the Democratic state convention. Delegates to the national convention will be selected at the state convention, which will take place in June.

The Idaho Republican Party held presidential caucuses in 2012, but switched to a presidential primary in 2016.

The Idaho Legislature is discussing a possible change in the law related to declaring party affiliation before primaries, so that voters would not be able to select one party's ballot in the March presidential primary and another in the May regular primary.

The House State Affairs Committee will hold a hearing Monday, February 3, on a measure that wouldn't take effect until July. It replaces previous legislation that would have gone into effect with Gov. Brad Little's signature. That would have given Idaho voters a roughly two-week opportunity to change party affiliation.

Whether the new measure passes or not, voters may declare a party affiliation at the last minute in the 2020 presidential primary and the regular primary.

Watch more Idaho politics:

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