BOISE, Idaho — The Ada County Elections Office began opening mail-in ballots for the May 19 Primary Election on May 27. Before the ballots are opened, all ballots are received into the Idaho Statewide Voter Registration System and reconciled against the issued ballots.
There are two steps in the process of opening ballots to ensure the security and anonymity of the vote. The first step is to separate the signed exterior envelopes from all of the ballots that remain inside the secrecy sleeve. The signed outer envelopes are kept and archived. The second step is when the ballots are removed from the secrecy sleeve, unfolded and laid flat in preparation for counting. After all ballots have been opened, they will be securely stored until counting.
For security purposes, the signature on the back of the returned envelope is compared to the signature on the voter's registration card. Ballots are held in secure storage areas until they are opened and counted. Counting of the ballots will begin on June 1 and continue through the evening of June 2. If you would like to watch to view the process of ballot opening, the Ada County Elections Office has several live streams up on their website.