May 17 election: precinct persons and election ballots

With the May 17 primary election inching ever closer, some people may have some questions about precinct candidates and ballots.
 The Weiser Signal American has received questions in this regard and thought it worthwhile to provide some brief information. Specifically, some people have expressed that they would like to vote for someone outside their precinct.
 The first thing to note is that you can only vote for the candidates vying to represent your particular precinct and that will be reflected in the ballot you receive on voting day.
 “You are not voting countywide,” said Washington County’s Kelly Campbell. “We are by precinct. So, you vote at your polling place and if you are precinct 4, your ballot is going to look just like everybody else’s except that precinct name.”
 The candidate(s) specific to your precinct will be on your ballot.
In-Office absentee voting
 “We actually do early absentee in-office voting, and we are doing that right now in the clerk’s office during our hours of operation between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.,” Campbell said.
 There are no designated early voting polling sites in Weiser like there are in larger counties such as Ada and Canyon. 
  Those wishing to vote early can do so “in-office” at the Washington County Clerk’s Office, located at 256 E. Court Street in Weiser.
 Margaret Jensen, who is running for precinct 4, recently provided the Weiser Signal American with some additional information regarding precincts. Jensen is a committee person for the Washington County Republican Central Committee and is the president of the Washington County Federation of Republican Women, serves as secretary for the Central Committee, and is a state committee woman.
 Here is what she wrote regarding the duties of a precinct person:
 A precinct person represents their political party (Democrat or Republican) in their specific voting precinct.  
 Precinct people are part of the Central Committee which is the governing body of the party in the county. 
  The Central Committee consists of:
 • County Precinct Committee People – Elected by their constituents in their precinct.
 • State Committee Woman and Man – Elected by precinct committee chairs.
 • Youth Delegate - Elected by precinct committee chairs.
 • Vice Chair - Elected by precinct committee chairs.
 • Chair - Elected by precinct committee chairs.
 • Secretary and treasurer - Elected by precinct committee chairs. There are multiple responsibilities of a precinct person and the Central Committee, but probably the most important are:
 • In the event a county elected official vacates their seat before their term is up, the Central Committee sends recommendations to the Governor or County Commissioners (depending on what position is vacated) for a replacement. Both parties may submit candidates. 
 • Voter Communication/Education (vetting candidates) – help voters in their precinct understand issues, candidates etc., so they can vote with the knowledge they need to make their choice on the ballots.
 • Selects members to represent the committee/county at the state meetings where higher level policy is made, and members are selected to attend National Conferences.   
 • Fund raising events for endorsing and supporting candidates.
 Why can’t I see all the precinct people on my ballot?
 There are 11 precincts in Washington County: Eaton Hale, West Weiser, South Weiser, Weiser, Middle Weiser, East Weiser, Midvale, Cambridge, Pioneer, Sunnyside, and Mineral.
 They are elected every two years in the Primaries only.
 They are only on the ballots of their Precincts – liken it to the School Board Elections.
 So, you will only be able to vote for those who live in your precinct. 
 I don’t ever recall seeing precinct people on the ballot before.
 This is not a paid position and does not receive any sort of benefits. Historically these seats have been difficult to fill because people didn’t fully know what they did. Over the last couple years, there has been a movement to get more involved with politics at the local levels, so we now are seeing folks wanting to participate in these roles. 
   This is a good thing, and we encourage people to get involved so that we can continue to protect our perspective parties, their platform, and send the best candidates to higher offices.  
 This election, in the Democratic Party – there are no contested seats. In the Republican Party, there are two contested seats.
 For more information on the upcoming election, visit



Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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