Early Voting in the May Primary Election Starts May 6

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KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho – Today marks the beginning of early, in-person voting for this year’s primary election and will continue through Friday, May 17. Voters who wish to cast their ballot in-person before election day can do so Monday through Friday at the county elections office located at 1808 3rd Street in Coeur d’Alene from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Registered voters will be given the primary ballot associated with the party to which they are affiliated. There are four political parties that Idaho voters can affiliate with – Republican, Democratic, Constitution, and Libertarian. Voters who registered as unaffiliated have the choice to cast a nonpartisan election ballot, participate in the open Democratic primary, or change their party affiliation to Republican, Constitution, or Libertarian to vote in one of their closed primaries. In this election cycle, the nonpartisan election ballot consists of three judgeships and all three are uncontested. The nonpartisan ballots are included as part of the political party primary ballots.

The majority of registered voters in Kootenai County are affiliated with the Republican party. In this election cycle, all Republican voters will see the following races on their primary ballot:

  • United States Representative, District 1: Russ Fulcher (incumbent)
  • County Commissioner District 1: John Padula, Mark Eberlein, Dale Gibboney, and “Bat” Masterson
  • County Commissioner District 3: Brett Surplus, Leslie Duncan (incumbent)
  • County Sheriff: Robert “Bob” Norris (incumbent), John Michael “Mike” Bauer
  • County Prosecutor: Stanley Mortensen (incumbent)
  • Justice of the Supreme Court (nonpartisan): G. Richard Bevan to succeed himself
  • Judge of the Court of Appeals (nonpartisan): David W. Gratton to succeed himself, Jessica Marie Lorello to succeed herself

Since Kootenai County has 73 precincts spread across four legislative districts, voters will have different options for State Senate and State Representative seats, depending on where they reside in the county. Only two of the twelve legislative district races are contested in the Republican primary. In Legislative District 4, Dave Raglin is challenging incumbent Rep. Elaine Price and incumbent Sen. Carl Bjerke is challenged by Cheri Zao in Legislative District 5.

The majority of contested races come into play for precinct committeeman (PC) seats, where 68 of the 73 precinct seats for the Republican party have challengers. Voters can view the full list of Republican PC races on the county’s election website at https://www.kcgov.us/701/Current-Candidates and view their precinct sample ballot by going to https://www.kcgov.us/1104/Sample-Ballots-for-May-2024-Primary-Elec.

There has been a great deal of contention amongst Republican voters concerning PC seats, and many community members have taken to social media to expose what they view as a Democratic takeover of the Republican party. The Kootenai Journal has reported on the Republican PC race in precinct 401, which is a prime example of the ideological differences between the candidates. 

Election Day is Tuesday, May 21 and voters must go to their assigned polling place to cast their ballot. The polls will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Visit the county’s website at https://www.kcgov.us/321/Polling-Place-Look-Up to find your polling place.