Idahoans will decide tonight which candidates will move on to November’s 2020 general election with the hopes of representing Idaho in the U.S. Congress come January.
Idaho has two U.S. senators and two U.S. representatives. Up for election this year is one Senate seat and both House seats. Senators serve four-year terms; representatives serve two-year terms.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, a Boise Republican, is seeking re-election. He does not have any challengers in the Republican primary.
Two candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Risch come November: Paulette Jordan, Plummer, and Jim Vandermaas, Eagle.
The U.S. Senate seat held by Idaho U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo is up for election in 2022.
U.S. House incumbents Russ Fulcher, R-District 1, and Mike Simpson, R-District 2, both Republicans, are each seeking re-election. Both face challengers in the primary.
Fulcher, of Meridian, has one challenger in the Republican primary: Nicholas Jones, of Boise. Two Democratic candidates, Staniela Nikolova, of Moscow, and Rudy Soto, of Nampa, are running in the primary.
Simpson, of Idaho Falls, has one challenger in the Republican primary: Kevin Rhoades, Boise.
CORONAVIRUS FORCES MAIL-ONLY PRIMARY ELECTION
Idaho’s 2020 primary has been unlike any previous statewide election: All voters cast their ballots absentee — by mail — instead of gathering at polling places.
Absentee voting has long been an option for Idaho voters, but for the primary, it is the only option.
The reason for a vote-by-mail-only primary is two-fold: concerns about coronavirus spread and a lack of polling places and poll workers.
The primary had been slated for May 19. When Idaho Gov. Brad Little ordered a mail-ballot only primary, May 19 became the final day to request an absentee ballot and June 2 the day ballots must be returned and counted.
But after a federal court ruling issued May 22 in response to a series of problems with the Idaho Votes website, Idahoans could request a ballot up to May 26.
The successful primary election candidates will then go on to participate in the 2020 general election Nov. 3.