CALDWELL, Idaho (CBS2) — There are two big problems in Canyon County elections -- COVID19 and a shortage of trained poll workers.
So the Canyon County Clerk's Office says right now it appears the same number of polling locations used for early voting -- five -- will also be the same number of locations open for voting on Election Day Nov. 3.
And some worry five isn't enough for smooth voting throughout the county's 64 precincts on election day.
But the Idaho Secretary of State's office says it's planning to make more veteran poll workers available to Canyon County in an effort to "diminish the logistical challenges."
A county spokesman says in a typical election there are some 50 polling locations open in Canyon County.
But the social distancing requirements of the pandemic have reduced the options for polling places significantly, says the county.
Unlike during early voting, where voters can drop into any location, the polling locations on election day will be tied to a voter's precinct: you can't just show up and vote at any one of them.
“On Friday, we announced our plans to open five in-person early voting locations in Canyon County, but we didn’t articulate well enough that our Election Day plans were still a work in progress,” said Clerk Chris Yamamoto. “We are going to spend the bulk of this week working to identify additional polling locations that we will open for voters to cast their ballots on Election Day. Those locations – in addition to the five in-person early voting locations that were already announced – will be approved by the Board of County Commissioners on Friday morning in accordance with State statute.”
It's a confusing situation that may not become clearer until Friday.
That's when Canyon County Commissioners meet and formally approve the number and location of polling places to be used on Election Day.