Idaho may hold traditional elections despite coronavirus

Election officials say Idaho residents may vote in person during elections in August and November despite the continuing spread of the coronavirus.

According to the Idaho Statesman, Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck says Idaho plans to operate standard elections rather than exclusively using absentee ballots.

Idaho’s May 19 primary was the first statewide election held by mail only. Republican Gov. Brad Little signed a proclamation in April allowing the change that resulted in record voter turnout across the state.

Little said last week he may request a special session of the state Legislature to address the November election.

The Idaho Secretary of State’s office said the decision to implement social distancing or other protective measures will be left to county clerks. The office and health officials will also issue guidelines.

Counties must confirm and publish precinct locations five Fridays before an election.

Houck urged residents who want traditional elections to volunteer as poll workers, as many regular volunteers are older and at high risk for coronavirus infection. (AP)