While the cast of characters vying to be the next president of the United States wing their way from Iowa to New Hampshire, then South Carolina and Nevada to secure much-needed delegates, Idaho will soon get its chance to weigh in on the contest.
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter in 2015 signed into law Senate Bill 1066
, which moved the Idaho Republican presidential primary to the second Tuesday in March, thus putting the Gem State in the thick of things when deciding who should be the Republican standard bearer.
Ada County elections officials are already preparing for the March 8 GOP primary, when they will also roll out new voting equipment touted as the latest voting technology available.
"As the previous central count system was antiquated and at the end of its useable lifespan, the acquisition of this new technology was necessary to ensuring that our elections continue to be conducted in the most fair and transparent manner possible," said Ada County Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane, who oversees Ada County election operations.
Ada County officials are inviting the public to help test out the new equipment at a mock election Saturday, Feb. 20 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at several locations: the main branch of the Boise Library on Capitol Boulevard, the Boise Hazel Branch Library on Lake Hazel Road, the Eagle Library on Stierman Way, the Garden City Library on Glenwood Street, Kuna High School on Deer Flat Road and the Meridian Cherry lane Branch Library on West Cherry Lane.
The GOP primary will be offering early voting, beginning Monday, Feb. 22 and continuing through March 4. Primary voting will be held at traditional precincts throughout the county on March 8.
Meanwhile, Idaho Democrats will be given the opportunity to make their choice of a presidential candidate at county caucuses held at locations throughout the Gem State. In Ada County, the March 22 Democratic caucus will be held at the Boise Centre, beginning at 5 p.m.