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“Going to break all kinds of records,” mail-in election has huge turnout

Idaho absentee ballot requests
KIFI/KIDK

BANNOCK COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Counties all across east Idaho are reporting a huge increase in voter turnout for the May primary election.

Bannock, Madison, Bingham and Bonneville counties are all seeing significant increases in people participating in the election.

"We're going to break all kinds of records," said Bonneville County elections supervisor, Brenda Prudent.

Because of the pandemic, voting will be done completely by absentee ballots.

In 2016, Bonneville County registered voters cast 8,975 ballots. Since May 11, the elections office received more than 6,700 absentee ballots. They're currently processing another 2,000 requests for ballots and expect even more before the May 19 deadline.

In Bannock County, so far the elections office sent out about 12,000 ballots, compared to the mere 7,500 people who voted in May 2016.

"We've blown that record out of the water," said Bannock County elections manager Julie Hancock.

Bingham County is having a "huge onslaught of requests" for absentee ballots, according to elections manager Danette Miller.

In May 2016, about 2,100 people voted in Bingham County. Already, the elections office has surpassed that number: 2,786 people have turned in their ballot and the elections office is processing another 5,000 requests for ballots.

"I think people really want to be involved in the process and I think it's important," Hancock said.

Jefferson County is seeing a smaller increase in turnout, with 4,100 voting in 2016 and 4,900 requests for ballots so far.

You can request a ballot online or from your local county clerk at idahovotes.gov.

The last day to register to vote will be May 19. The last day to request a ballot will be May 19. Ballots will be counted June 2.

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Emma Iannacone

Emma Iannacone

Emma is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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