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Kylie Marks, elections technician, feeds sample ballots into a machine on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020 at the Canyon County Elections Office in Caldwell. Marks ran a logic and accuracy test of the ballot-counting system ahead of the Aug. 25 election. County election offices are now preparing for the Nov. 3 general election.

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Preparations for the Nov. 3 election are in full swing at the Ada and Canyon County elections offices. While ballots won't begin to be mailed out until Sept. 18 — for the military members stationed overseas — officials have been beavering away at preparations for a once-in-a-lifetime election. It's a big one, with the presidential election at the top of the ticket, but the ballot also will include a constitutional amendment fixing the number of the state's legislative districts at 35; both of Idaho's congressional seats and one of its two U.S. Senate seats; all 105 seats in the state Legislature; and county elections, some hotly contested.

"We feel really confident that things will come off pretty smoothly," said Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney. "Unless there's some emergency declared, the polls will be open. We do expect probably at least half will vote absentee."

He added, "The clerks are amazing. No matter what is thrown at them, they seem to pull it off."

Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane said, "Preparations are well underway. We're already getting materials loaded up for Election Day."

His office has been preparing for the November election for months. You can read our full story here at from Idaho Press reporters Thomas Plank, Rachel Spacek and myself (subscription required), or pick up today's Sunday/Monday edition of the Idaho Press; it's on the front page.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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