Constitution Day and Voter Education

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September 17 commemorates the day that the final draft of the United States Constitution was signed in 1787. In recognition of the Constitution, College of Western Idaho (CWI) has collected the following resources to provide more information on the Constitution and what it means to you.

The Constitution

Voting

As the upcoming election draws near, the College of Western Idaho would like to provide information about the voting process. Below you will find information on how to get registered, where to find your polling place, how to request to vote by mail, important dates, and how to vote in person.

  • Checking your Registration Status

    You can confirm that you are registered to vote, find your assigned polling place (and text or email yourself directions), verify your address, and see the status of your absentee ballot by checking your voter record using this simple online tool. If you request to vote by mail, or live in a county which only votes by mail, you can also confirm that your ballot has been received by your county clerk using this site.

  • Registering to Vote or Updating your Information

    If you have a valid Idaho driver’s license and or ID card, you are able to register online to vote in the upcoming election. The process only takes a few minutes to complete and you will need your license or ID card and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. The electronic form must be completed and submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 9.

    If you do not have a driver’s license or ID card and a social security number, or if you do not wish to register online, you can download and print out a paper Voter Registration form. The form only takes a few minutes, is accepted by all Idaho counties, and can be mailed or dropped off at your County Elections office. A list of election office locations and addresses is included on the form. These forms can NOT be submitted via fax or e-mail. Forms must be postmarked or dropped off in person by Oct. 9 at 5 p.m.

    If you do not complete your voter registration by Oct. 9, the State of Idaho allows any voter to register at any polling place on the day of the election. More information on this process is available below.

  • Voting by Mail

    Idaho law permits any registered voter to request an absentee ballot. You do not have to have a reason to request to vote by mail. Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot using this easy on-line form. You must have your valid Idaho driver’s license or ID card and the last for digits of your Social Security Number to use the on-line form. If you just registered to vote, be aware that it may take several days for your voter registration form to be processed before you will be able to request an absentee ballot.

    If you do not have a valid Idaho driver’s license or ID card and a social security number, or if you do not wish to use the online request form, you can download and print out a paper Absentee Ballot Request form. This form is easy to complete, is accepted by all Idaho counties, and can be mailed or dropped off at your County Elections office. A list of election office locations and addresses is included on the form. Your form MUST BE RECEIVED by your county clerk by 5 p.m. on Oct 23. Requests which are postmarked before Oct. 23, but not received by the clerk in time will NOT be honored.

    If you choose to vote by mail, you are encouraged to request your ballot as soon as possible to allow time to receive, complete, and return your ballot. All ballots must be RECEVIED by your county clerk on or before Nov. 3 at 5 p.m. and ballots received after 5 p.m. on Nov. 3 will not be counted, regardless of postmark date. You may also return you absentee ballot to you county clerk’s office in-person, if you are concerned about it being received in time. The addresses of all county clerks can be found here. You can also check to see if your ballot has been mailed or received by checking your voter record.

    If you cast your vote by mail, or vote early, DO NOT go to your assigned polling place on Election Day. The poll workers do not have the ability to confirm that your ballot was received. That can only be done by checking your voter record. If you cannot confirm that your vote has been received by Election Day, contact your county clerk. In the State of Idaho it is a felony to vote more than once in any election, and a misdemeanor to even attempt to vote more than once in any election.

  • Early Voting

    The State of Idaho permits counties to allow voters to cast their ballots early. You can do this at your county clerk’s office between Oct. 13 and Oct. 30. You must bring approved proof of identification (see Voting on Election Day information for a complete list). Each county may also designate Early Voting Sites for the convenience of voters. Due to COVID-19, early voting locations have not been confirmed yet and will be posted on the elections page of your county clerk’s website. Check here for Ada County Voters and here for Canyon County Voters. Students voting in other counties can find their clerk’s website here.

  • Voting on Election Day

    Finding Your Polling Location

    On Election Day, go to your designated polling place. You must vote at your assigned polling place, and you will not be permitted to vote at any other polling place. If you don’t know where your polling place is, you can find it at any time on your voter record, which will give you the address, show you a map of how to get there, and can e-mail or text you directions.

    Voter Identification

    You will be required to show identification in order to vote. Your CWI Student ID Card is accepted at all polling locations in Idaho as a valid form of identification to vote. If you do not have your CWI ID Card, you can get it by going to any of the OneStop locations on-campus. You can also use a current Idaho Driver’s License or state ID card, a US Passport, a federal or military photo ID, or a tribal photo ID. If you do not have any of those items with you, you can request to complete a Personal Identification Affidavit at the polling place when you check in and you will be allowed to vote.

    Voting

    Each county and polling place may look and operate a little differently. If you are given a paper ballot and pen, make sure you completely fill in the square, circle, or oval for your chosen candidate. Checkmarks, X’s or white space may result in your vote not being counted by the machine reading the ballot. If they use electronic voting machines, take your paper ballot and follow the instructions on the screen to select your candidates and have the machine mark your paper ballot. A poll worker will be happy to explain how to fill out your ballot or use a voting machine and will not ask about, or check to see, who you are voting for. Check your ballot carefully before submitting it, if you make a mistake or change your mind, a poll worker will happily provide you with a new ballot.

    You are permitted to have someone come with you and help you to vote. This can be helpful if you are concerned about reading or seeing the ballot, if you want someone to make sure you are voting correctly, or if you just want someone there while you vote. This can be any person, or a poll worker can assist you. If you have children, they are welcome to come with you, and it’s a great way to teach older children about the importance of voting.

    Election Day Registration

    Idaho Law permits any eligible voter to register to vote at any polling place on the day of any election. The process will take a few minutes, but is simple to do, and your ballot will be counted in the same way as voters who registered before Election Day. You will be required to fill out a Voter Registration Card which looks the same as the mail-in voter registration card. You will be required to provide proof of residence in the Polling Precinct where you are voting. This can be done by showing your Idaho Driver’s License or ID card so long as it is not expired and shows your current address. You can also prove your residency by bringing your CWI ID card (or an expired or out-of-state driver’s license or ID card or any other card with your name and clear picture on it) AND an official piece of mail (Utility bill, credit card statement, auto insurance, bank statement, etc.) or document such as a rental agreement.

    Accessibility

    All Idaho polling places are accessible for all citizens. They all have clear and accessible entrances, accessible polling booths, and voting machines that can read the ballot options aloud and mark your ballot for you, using a touch screen or braille keyboard. A poll worker can help you to use this equipment and you can have someone come with you to help you vote, if that is more comfortable. Curbside voting and at-home voting are also available in special circumstances, but need to be coordinated with your county clerk’s office in advance. Information about accessible voting, including instructions on using accessible voting machines is available.