Today is National Voter Registration Day, and Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney is encouraging all eligible Idahoans to register to vote in the upcoming Nov. 6 general election.

“Citizen engagement and voter participation is an essential component of the democratic process,” Denney said in a statement. “I want every eligible voter to have the opportunity to cast a ballot and help decide the future of our cities, our state and our country.”

Denney himself is on the ballot; he’s facing Democratic challenger Jill Humble in his bid for re-election to another four-year term.

Also on the November ballot are an array of statewide offices including governor, both Idaho congressional seats, county races across the state, every seat in the Idaho Legislature, and two statewide initiatives: Proposition 1, to legalize “historical horse racing” gambling machines at Idaho racetracks; and Proposition 2, to expand Medicaid to cover the roughly 62,000 Idahoans who now fall into a coverage gap, making too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to qualify for subsidized insurance through the state’s health insurance exchange.

Idaho has both online and mail-in voter registration. Voters can go to idahovotes.gov and visit the Online Voter Registration page; print a form from idahovotes.gov and mail it in to their local county clerk’s office; or register in person at the local county clerk’s office.

Idaho also allows same-day voter registration at the polls. That allows qualified Idaho voters to register or update their registration at the polls before they vote on Election Day.

Idaho currently has 818,519 registered voters, 429,660 of those in the 1st Congressional District and 388,859 in the 2nd Congressional District.

The 1st District stretches from the Canadian border south all the way to Owyhee County and the Nevada border, taking in all of North Idaho and much of southwestern Idaho, including all of Canyon County and much of Ada County. The dividing line between the districts cuts through Boise; the 2nd District includes a portion of Ada County, all of Elmore and Twin Falls counties, and all the rest of southern and eastern Idaho.

As of this month, Idaho’s registered voters are 52 percent Republican, 12 percent Democrat, and 35 percent unaffiliated. Fewer than 1 percent are registered as members of either the Libertarian or Constitution parties. Voters aren’t required to affiliate with a party to vote in the general election; in Idaho, that’s required only for closed Republican Party primaries like the one held in May.

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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