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The Latest: Idaho woman in labor makes sure to cast ballot

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Posted at 7:39 PM, Nov 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-08 21:39:56-05

 

 The Latest on Election Day in Idaho (all times local):

6:06 p.m.

Poll workers in south-central Idaho say a pregnant woman made sure to cast her ballot on Tuesday despite being in the early stages of labor.

According to the Times-News (http://bit.ly/2eKmaF4 ), the Twin Falls woman told poll workers that she was 4-centimeters dilated. The woman's doctor had told her that she could go vote, but needed to hurry back to the hospital.

A spokeswoman for St. Luke's Magic Valley said she was working to find the woman or her family members for further comment

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5:37 p.m.

A federal judge says polls in five Idaho precincts will stay open until 9 p.m., an hour later than the rest of the state.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill made the ruling in response to a lawsuit brought against state and local election officials by the Idaho State Democratic Party. The affected precincts are all in Ada County.

The state Democratic party sought the emergency injunction earlier Tuesday, saying that voters were having trouble finding their polling location because the sites had been recently moved.

The party contended that the locations were changed too close to the election for voters to get adequate notice. Ada County election officials countered that they had provided notice in the local newspaper and by mail and met the notice requirements of state law.

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4:10 p.m.

In its federal lawsuit against Ada County and Idaho state election officials, the Idaho Democratic Party contends that the Ada County Clerk's office didn't give enough notice to voters that five polling places had changed.

The locations were changed roughly two and a half months after Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Gealy England notified Ada County officials that several poll locations didn't meet required standards under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the lawsuit.

The Idaho Democratic Party contends that while some of the locations were changed to accommodate the federal law, others were changed simply for "space issues." The Democrats said those issues should have been anticipated sooner or addressed in a way that didn't require a new location.

Ada County officials, however, have said they gave routine notification about the changed polling places — including ads in the local newspaper — as required by Idaho law. Notices of the change were also mailed to people in those precincts, according to Ada County officials.

A federal judge was expected to hold a hearing on the matter late Tuesday afternoon.

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3:45 p.m.

The Idaho Democratic Party has filed a federal lawsuit against the state's most populated county and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney demanding that five polling locations stay open until 10 p.m.

According to the lawsuit, Democratic officials allege that Ada County election staff failed to properly warn voters that a handful of polling places would be changing locations. The party says polls should stay open in case voters need more time to find their new voting sites.

Polling locations close at 8 p.m. in Idaho.

As of 3 p.m., a judge had not weighed in on the request.

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2:35 p.m.

Election workers in southwestern Idaho's Payette County were scrambling after a precinct in Fruitland ran out of one type of paper ballots and other precincts began to run low.

Chief Deputy Clerk Julie Anderson said voters at all the precincts still had the option to use the Voter Express ballot system — a smaller paper ballot that slides into a computer terminal, allowing the voter to select his or her choices on a computer screen rather than filling in the ballot by hand.

But Anderson said many voters preferred the traditional paper ballots, prompting some angry phone calls to her office.

Election workers were able to bring additional paper ballots to the Fruitland precinct, and the county had two printing shops print more ballots for all the voting sites.

Anderson said numbers aren't available yet but so far turnout seems to be big. The county had 2000 people vote by absentee ballot this year, compared to just 800 in the last presidential election.

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2:13 p.m.

Voters are turning out in force at many polling places across Idaho, eager to cast their ballots for President and some high-profile Idaho races.

Ada County chief deputy clerk Phil McGrane said voting in Idaho's most populated county was off to a brisk start Tuesday morning.

Voting was steady at The Pursuit church in Boise's north end over the lunch hour. Marcia Bondy, a retired health educator who voted for Hillary Clinton, said she would be nervous about the presidential race until the final votes are in.

"It's never a done deal until it's a done deal," she said.

Bondy was also eager to hear how a proposed constitutional amendment giving Idaho's lawmakers a legislative veto power over administrative rules would fare. She opposes the amendment.

"I do not want the legislature to be involved in that decision making," Bondy said.

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9:45 a.m.

A Nampa polling place that was found to be inaccessible to voters with disabilities will deliver ballots to the parking lot on election day.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/2eINNyn ) that Canyon County Clerk Chris Yamamoto says an alternative entrance to Southside Methodist Church could not be found in time for Tuesday voting, so instead people with disabilities can call poll workers who will deliver a ballot to their parked car.

A U.S. Department of Justice review found that the church's ramp was too steep and lacked handrails, making it challenging for disabled voters to get to the pools. Yamamoto had suggested finding an alternate entrance, but those plans were unsuccessful.

In total, the county has spent $5,000 on curbside voting and van-accessible signage in response to the federal review.