Sightline’s state-by-state guides are designed to give local election officials and legislators the information they need to identify and take the most important steps to get ready for November. Each set of state-specific resources includes best practices and established models from around the country, including practical nuts and bolts advice for clerks, materials from election administrators with experience conducting all mail elections, and information about vendors and costs.

How Idaho is prepared for Vote By Mail

  • Allows early in-person voting up to three weeks before Election Day. 
  • Provides a postage-prepaid return envelope for mailed ballots. 
  • Allows any voter to request an absentee ballot. 
  • Uses voters’ signatures to verify ballots. 
  • Allows county clerks to start processing ballots upon receipt. 
  • Allows voters to register and request an absentee ballot online. 
  • Allows anyone to return sealed ballots in person. 


Within each section, recommendations are arranged roughly in order of importance and ease of implementation.

For Local Election Officials
  • Coordinate with USPS.
  • Design ballots and envelopes that are easy to use.
  • Implement robust signature verification.
  • Provide secure drop boxes.
  • Provide election day in-person voting centers for in-person voting.
  • Consider using a professional printer and sorter. 
  • Count ballots at a centralized, secure facility. 
  • Invest in high-speed centralized equipment.
For Secretaries of State
  • Use a comprehensive system to track ballots. 
  • Mail absentee application forms to every registered voter.
  • Notify voters of problems with their signature and give them an opportunity to cure.
For Lawmakers
  • Join the Electronic Registration Information Center to keep voter lists up-to-date.
  • Automatically register voters and update their addresses.
  • Give voters a single sign-up option to permanently receive mailed-out ballots.
  • Allow counties to accept ballots postmarked on election day. 
  • Allow voters to request a replacement ballot online.
  • Account for voters with non-traditional addresses.

Download the full Idaho action packet, with detailed information for each recommendation.

Idaho's Grade for Vote By Mail preparedness = C

Our grading system: We evaluated each state on 16 factors, covering access, administration efficiency, security, and infrastructure.

SEND THIS RESOURCE TO idaho’S secretary of state:

Lawerence Denney,

SEND THIS RESOURCE TO idaho’S deputy secretary of state:

Jason Hancock,

Contact us

We welcome your questions and feedback. Email Kristin Eberhard, director of Sightline’s Democracy research program. Press inquiries: Anna Fahey.

Photos: Vote by Mail in Idaho. TANNEN MAURY/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock. Wisconsin primary election proceeds despite Coronavirus Covid-19 in April, 2020. A shortage of poll workers and social distancing precautions left Milwaukee with only a few polls open resulting in long lines. Photo by CRAIG LASSIG/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock. City employee Bryan Watson (R) directs voters to the proper line while maintaining social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to vote in Wisconsin's primary in Hudson, Wisconsin USA, 07 April 2020. After an attempt by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to delay the election because of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 which causes the Covid-19 disease, both the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court ruled that the election should proceed as scheduled. A shortage of poll workers has left the city with only a few polls open resulting in long lines. Wisconsin Primary, Hudson, USA - 07 Apr 2020.