Teton Valley elections approach with new Idaho voting rules in place

A new law took effect this summer requiring Idahoans to prove both identity and residency when registering to vote.
Student voter rights groups sued this year to halt the new identification law, which will make university and college IDs no longer valid for voter registration beginning in January 2024. An Idaho judge dismissed that lawsuit last month. (KHOL News)

by | Nov 1, 2023 | Elections

Election Day in Idaho is just a few days away. In Teton County there are a handful of mayoral, town council and school board elections on Tuesday, Nov. 7. 

And it’s the first time a new voter registration rule has been tested in the region. 

A new law that took effect this summer requires Idahoans to prove their identity and residency when registering to vote. 

Voters must have a current address on their state, federal or tribal ID — or be able to show documentation like a bill, bank statement or lease showing where they live. 

Nikki Kaufman is a political consultant working to get out the vote in Teton Valley and said the rules could present some issues for new residents.

“I thought of my friends who’ve just moved from Jackson,” Kaufman said. “They still have a Wyoming license, but their passports expired. They probably cannot register to vote here.” 

Kaufman, who moved to Victor from Jackson two years ago, is a political activist and has been involved in local politics. She has consulted with commissioner and town council candidates in Teton County, Wyoming elections. She is now volunteering with candidates in town council races in Idaho’s Teton County. 

She said friends have reached out to her in the past about elections. So, last year, she created a space on the app GroupMe to help people get informed about Wyoming elections.

“I get texts from friends and coworkers on Election Day or early voting,” Kaufman said “‘Tell me who to vote for X, Y, Z,’ and then I’d be like, okay, ‘I’m happy to tell you. Do you want any background information?’”

She said the group, where she shared information about races and candidates, has grown from about 40 people to more than 250. This year, she said a friend started an Idaho election group, and Kaufman has been working to unpack the state’s new voting laws to about 40 members.

“I did create a flowchart to help explain the change in laws in Idaho to anyone who might be confused about their registration status,” Kaufman said. “Because the changing laws, just as with laws that are happening cross-country, are trying to make it more restrictive for people to vote.”

Student voter rights groups sued this year to halt the new identification law, which will make university and college IDs no longer valid for voter registration beginning in January 2024. An Idaho judge dismissed that lawsuit last month. 

Idaho’s Secretary of State supported the change in voting rules, saying in a recent press release, it creates “uniformity regarding the types of photo identification and proof of residency that may be used to register to vote … The new law simplifies the process by ensuring all Idahoans are treated the same when registering to vote.”

You can search for the Teton County ID Election Collab on GroupMe

Online registration is closed but you can still do it in person on Election Day. 

The new voter registration rules are also on the Idaho Secretary of State’s Voter Information website.

ID requirements: 

  • Idaho driver’s license or identification card
  • U.S. passport or federal photo identification card
  • Tribal identification card
  • Concealed weapons license issued by a county sheriff in Idaho

If a voter registered after July 1, 2023 and their residence address does not match their ID, they will need to bring one of the following to complete the registration process:

  • Current proof of insurance
  • Deed of trust, mortgage, lease or rental agreement
  • A property tax assessment, bill or receipt
  • A utility bill, excluding a cellular telephone bill
  • A bank or credit card statement
  • A paystub, paycheck or government-issued check
  • An intake document from a residential care or assisted living facility
  • Enrollment papers issued for the current school year by a high school, or an accredited institution of higher education located within the state of Idaho.
  • A communication on letterhead from a public or private social service agency registered with the secretary of state verifying the applicant is homeless and attesting to the applicant’s residence for registration purposes.

A full list of Teton County, Idaho elections can be found on the Teton County Clerk’s election website.

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About Tyler Pratt

Tyler has over a decade of experience as a jack-of-all-trades at public radio newsrooms across the U.S. He's a Columbia Journalism School alum with a passion for reporting on criminal justice, social justice, and LGBTQ+ issues. He loves New Orleans Saints football, dance floors, tasting new wines and trying out taco spots. Follow Tyler on Twitter @prattattak

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