Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said he's anticipating a big turnout in the general election Nov. 4 - an estimated 75 to 80 percent statewide.
In Ada County, officials are hoping to boost that turnout while trying to shrink crowds at polling places, all by encouraging absentee voting.
Sometime after Sept. 19, each of the county's 186,000 registered voters will receive a card in the mail that will let them request an absentee ballot. They'll be able to mail it in and avoid the polls altogether.
Chris Rich, Ada County chief deputy clerk, said the anticipated turnout, plus first-time voters and those who will register at the polls on Election Day, could mean long lines, so the county wanted to get more people voting but have fewer of them actually walking into polling places.
Rich's office has been receiving between 100 and 200 new-voter registration cards a day. Some are for people who have moved or changed their names, but many are from voters joining the ranks for the first time.
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