Idaho congressional candidate claims state botched mail-in ballot process

A Republican candidate seeking to represent Idaho in Congress says state election officials botched the mail-in primary process, and has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to extend the deadline for requesting a ballot until next week.

Nicholas Jones in the lawsuit filed this week says the secretary of state’s website became overwhelmed and failed to meet the demand for ballot requests as the 8 p.m. Tuesday deadline loomed, denying some people their only opportunity to prepare to vote.

Jones in the lawsuit filed against Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney asks for the deadline to be extended until 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 26th. Jones is challenging first-term Republican U.S. Representative Russ Fulcher.

Idaho shifted to its first-ever entirely mail-in primary this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Elections officials said they couldn’t secure in-person voting venues or enough volunteers.

Jones’ lawsuit says if the extension for requesting ballots is not granted, “qualified electors will be deprived of a meaningful opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”

A U.S. Senate seat, another U.S. House of Representatives seat and all 70 seats in the Idaho House and 35 in the Idaho Senate are on the ballot this year. Many of the races are uncontested. (AP)

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