In Idaho, you have the right to the following as protected by federal law. Election staff must be trained on and respect these rights:
- Accessible voter registration
- Accessible polling places
- Policies and procedures that do not discriminate against you based on your disability
- Accessible, available, and operational voting systems, features
- Your service animal to accompany you inside the polling place
- The right to vote privately and independently or with assistance, if needed
- Assistance from a person of your choice, who can be a friend, family member, or poll worker (but not your boss, union agent, or a candidate unless this person is your family member)
In Idaho, you also have the right to:
- Look at a sample ballot.
- Vote privately and vote your way without someone telling you how to vote.
- Ask for and get help at the polls from a poll worker or someone else you choose.
- Vote at an accessible polling site.
- Vote if you live in a group home or treatment facility.
- Vote if you have a guardian
To register to vote in Idaho, you must be:
- A citizen of the United States of America
- At least 17 and will be turning 18 on or before Election Day
- Have resided in Idaho and in the county for thirty (30) days prior to the day of election
If you are a student, unhoused, a survivor of intimate partner violence with related concerns, or living with a mental or physical impairment, you may still register and vote.
In Idaho, you may not register or vote if:
- Have had your right to vote specifically removed by a court order, unless your right has been restored
- Are currently incarcerated for a felony conviction, on parole, or on probation. Your right to vote is automatically restored once you complete your full sentence, including probation or parole.
Register to vote now if you are eligible!
Federal law requires assistance in registering to vote from offices that provide public assistance or state-funded programs serving people with disabilities. Responsibilities include:
- Providing voter registration forms
- Assisting voters in completing the forms
- Transmitting completed forms to the appropriate election official
All aspects of voter registration must be accessible. Under certain circumstances, in Idaho, a representative from the county elections office may be able to come to your home to complete the registration process.
- In person on Election Day
- By mail
- In person at your polling location until 5pm the Friday before the election
- While abroad as a citizen or military through an absentee ballot request
- A provisional ballot at a polling place that is counted after officials confirm your eligibility
- Curbside voting available for special circumstances if scheduled beforehand
- By Emergency Absentee Ballot
- if an emergency occurs within 5 days of an election that prevents you from voting, you can contact your county elections office to request an emergency absentee ballot
- This ballot may be brought to you
- You may vote absentee by mail after submitting a completed and signed request for an absentee ballot.
- The request for an absentee ballot must be received in your county clerk’s office by the 11th day prior to the election.
- An absentee ballot will be mailed to you after your registration has been verified.
If you need an alternative ballot, please contact your local town clerk.
Federal law requires polling places to meet minimum compliance standards for individuals with special needs.
- The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 (VAEHA) requires accessible polling places in federal elections for elderly individuals and people with disabilities. Where no accessible location is available to serve as a polling place, voters must be provided an alternate means of voting in person on Election Day.
- The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) requires at least one accessible voting system for persons with disabilities at each polling place in federal elections. The accessible voting system must provide the same opportunity for access and participation, including privacy and independence, that other voters receive.
If you want to check that your polling location meets these standards or find an alternative polling location, contact your local election official.
If you are unable to stand in line, you can:
- Request to be moved to the front of the line or refuse to be moved to the front of the line
- Request that a chair be provided or refuse to accept a chair
- Request to have your place in line held and notified when it is your turn
Also, in Idaho:
- Headphones are available to listen to an audio ballot and make your vote selections on a touch screen, an accessibility controller, or by connecting to an individual's unique accessibility device
- Most of the machines in Idaho do not have a Braille keypad but do have an accessibility controller which uses buttons and switches to navigate the machine
- The majority of the buttons on these machines are identified by color, shape, Braille, and voice recording
- The machines have an accessory input that should be compatible with an individual's unique accessibility device
- A zoom feature is included to enlarge the ballot print
- A contrast feature is included to make the ballot easier to read
- You can review and change your selections on a voter assistance machine, and you may request a new ballot from a poll worker if you make a mistake
- Poll workers are trained to assist voters with the voter assistance machines upon request
- You may request assistance from a poll worker or receive assistance from a person of your choice with the following exceptions:
- your employer, an agent of your employer
- an officer or agent of your union
- A poll worker cannot force you to accept assistance.
Audio and PDF guides are available for the voting assistance machines available in Idaho:
- A TouchWriter machine is used in Ada and Bonner counties:
- The eSlate machine is used in Bonneville, Franklin and Caribou counties:
- The ExpressVote machine is used in Bannock, Bear Lake, Blaine, Cassia, Fremont, Oneida, Payette, Power, Teton, and most other counties:
- Some other counties use the AutoMark voter assistance terminal:
Please contact your county election official if you are unsure which machine your county uses.
Please contact DisAbility Rights Idaho:
- Call 1-866-262-3462
- Use the above number as a Voter Hotline during primary and general elections from 8am-9pm MT
- Visit the website to apply for services
If you wish to file a complaint, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (208) 334-2852.
You can also fill out a Violation of Civil Rights Complaint Form and submit it to the US Department of Justice by one of the following methods:
- Online, through the form’s submission process - this is the fastest method
- By fax at (202) 616-9881. You MUST include “ATTN: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Complaints" at the top of your fax submission for it to be processed correctly
- By mailing your form to:
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Inspector General
ATTN: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Complaints
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20530
For additional assistance, The National Network of ADA Centers can provide local contact information for other organizations you may wish to contact, including your Regional ADA Center or ADA Knowledge Translation Center, or Federal Agencies and Resources.
Idaho provides a series of videos to guide voters through, and educate them about, the voting process.
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