MOSCOW – As the election is just 12 days away, it is essential each community member knows the value of their vote. In battleground areas like Latah County, seats can be won by a mere 10-20 votes.
Currently, in Latah County, there are 21,741 registered voters as of July 2022. 9,232 of them are Republican, 7,894 of them are unaffiliated, and 4,175 of them are Democrats.
David Nelson, the incumbent for District 6 State Senator explained this is an important election for individuals to get out and vote and mentioned legislative seats are won by hundreds of votes.
In the 2018 general election, only 13,544 community members voted. 8,170 (37.63%) did not vote. 3,518 of those individuals were unaffiliated, 3,377 of them were Republican, and 1,275 were Democrats.
As U.S Senator Mike Crapo was in Latah County this week, he explained the true importance of voting regardless of party affiliation in battleground counties like this.
“I urge people across this state to vote,” Senator Crapo said. “There is no better thing that people in Idaho can do to make sure their voice is heard. Across the state and across political parties, people [need] to get out and vote.”
Unlike larger cities, community members’ votes truly matter in areas like Moscow. Voting is the easiest way citizens can ensure their voice is represented at the state level. With Moscow being home to the University of Idaho, there is a large demographic of individuals aged 18-24 in the area, which according to the US Census, is the least likely age group to vote.
“Voter turnout also increased as age, educational attainment, and income increased,” The Census said. “Voter turnout was highest among those ages 65 to 74 at 76.0%, while the percentage was lowest among those ages 18 to 24 at 51.4%”
Terry Pickens Manweiler, the Democrat candidate for Lieutenant Governor, also explained how essential it is for the younger generation to have their voice heard in elections such as this one.
“What [the younger generation] does today will impact how they live tomorrow,” Pickens Manweiler said. “All women who don’t vote, if they stay in Idaho, they won’t have the right to abortion or the right to contraceptives. Do you want the state to define who you become?”
Idaho’s November 8 general election will decide races for a plethora of local, state, and national seats.
- Absentee voting: Idaho is a no-excuse voting state, allowing all registered voters to vote absentee.
- Early in-person voting: All counties must offer either early voting or in-person absentee voting. There will be early voting available in Latah County on weekdays until Friday, November 4 at 5 p.m. There will also be a special Saturday option on October 29 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- In-person voting on Election Day: The general election takes place on Nov. 8. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations
Idaho’s state legislative redistricting plan has redrawn the boundaries of districts across the state, changing which candidates will appear on voters’ ballots. You can check which district you are voting in on the Idaho Secretary of State’s website.
In Latah County, you can also find a sample ballot at: https://api.latah.id.us/web/DownloadFile?filename=Elections\November%202022%20Election\Sample%20Ballot%20Nov%202022.pdf
Ways to register to vote:
- Online: Use the state’s online portal to register to vote or update an existing registration. You must have a valid Idaho driver’s license or an identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles to complete your online voter registration. If you do not have either, you must register to vote by mail or in person.
- By mail: Download a voter registration form, print it out, and mail the completed application to your county clerk’s office. Your application must be postmarked 25 days prior to Election Day — that’s Oct. 14 for the general election. If you miss the deadline, Idaho also allows Election Day registration at your polling place. More information is available on the state elections website.
- In-person: Visit your county clerk’s office to pick up a voter registration form or call the state elections office at 208-334-2852 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request one be mailed to you. Fill it out and bring it with you to vote on Election Day.
All registered voters must present a valid photo ID, such as a state driver’s license, a U.S. passport, or a tribal photo identification card. A list of acceptable IDs is on the state elections website. If you do not have an approved photo ID, you’ll be given a Personal Identification Affidavit to sign, in which you swear to your identity under a felony penalty of perjury.