Absentee vote only way to go for May election

March 22, 2020 1:00 AM

Here’s something every Kootenai County adult can agree on:

Let’s vote absentee for the May 19 primary election.

At some point, the coronavirus pandemic will pass. When it does, the decisions Idahoans make in May will go a long way toward determining the shape of government for years to come.

While it’s “only” a primary election, with Nov. 3 putting a final stamp on this year’s voter mandates, primaries in Idaho often pick the ultimate winners. When you consider that there isn’t a single Democrat serving in any partisan elected position in Kootenai County, the primary’s importance is magnified.

This week, the Idaho Democratic Party asked Gov. Brad Little and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney to eliminate polls and make the May 19 primary absentee-only.

“Under the current and projected conditions involving COVID-19, it does not seem viable for Idaho to hold enfranchising and meaningful elections in May if those elections are held in-person at regular polling places,” Democratic Party Chair Van Beechler wrote. “Many of Idaho’s poll workers are older adults who have been advised by the CDC to remain at home in order to avoid exposure to COVID-19.”

We applaud the Democrats’ initiative and sincere concern for poll workers’ and voters’ health. As election officials have pointed out, Idaho code says polling places must be available to voters. Changing to an all-mail election can only be done by the Legislature, which has already ended its session.

So let’s make this easy. Let’s all vote absentee this spring.

To receive your absentee ballot, go to: https://bit.ly/3b75ge8

You can also email: kcelections@kcgov.us

Or send your absentee ballot request by regular mail:

Kootenai County Elections

P.O. Box 9000

Coeur d’Alene, ID 83816