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Early voting up big compared to last two midterms

November 6, 2018

The number of people voting early in Idaho this year is already far ahead of the last two midterm cycles and could, if the outstanding ballots are returned, could nearly match or even exceed the early and absentee voting numbers for the 2012 presidential election.

As of Monday morning the state has received 153,781 absentee and early in-person votes, said deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst. Another 14,825 absentee ballots were sent out but haven’t yet been returned, making for 168,606 ballots that were sent out.

By contrast, there were 98,281 absentee votes in the 2014 midterms (this number includes early in-person votes), and 91,326 in 2010, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

There were 202,732 absentee votes in 2016, a presidential election year — presidential elections typically see higher turnout than midterms. However, there were 164,374 in the 2012 presidential election, meaning it is possible absentee voting in the 2018 midterm could exceed the 2012 presidential election depending on how many ballots are returned.

Early in-person voting ended on Friday. Election Day is Tuesday. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Bonneville County.

In Bonneville County, 5,688 people voted early this year, more than double the 2,324 who voted early in the 2014 midterms, according to the county elections office. There were 8,126 early voters in the county in 2016.

As of Nov. 1, 846,433 people are registered to vote in Idaho. People who wish to vote Tuesday but aren’t registered can register at the polls.

During the 2016 general, 805,074 people were registered to vote going into the election and another 131,455 registered at the polls, according to the Secretary of State’s office. In the 2014 midterms, 743,123 people were registered by the pre-registration deadline and another 11,019 registered at the polls.

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