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Almost 46% of registered voters statewide requested an absentee for the all-mail May 19 primary election.

Out of Idaho's 907,342 registered voters, 415,500 had requested ballots, the Secretary of State's Office released Thursday.

This number means the May primary is set to see the largest voter turnout of a primary without the governor's race on the ballot in state history.

The Secretary of State's Office cautioned these are not turnout numbers — because citizens have to return the ballot to cast their vote — but noted the 46% figure is an "unprecedented response, especially given the environment in which it happened," the release said.

In comparison, the March 2016 primary saw 23% voter turnout with 176,806 ballots cast.

“The numbers truly speak for themselves,” Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said in the release. “Voting is a right Idahoans hold dear and they were not going to let the coronavirus get in their way of participating in the May Primary Election. We want to say thank you to all of the Idahoans who adapted with us through these changing circumstances. We also want to say thank you to all of the election workers across the state who have worked so hard over the last few months to keep Idahoans safe and make it possible for them to vote from home.”

The deadline to request a ballot was May 19, though a judge will hear a request Friday afternoon to extend the deadline to May 26 because of late website issues on the state's site. Voters have until 8 p.m. June 2 to return their ballot.

Find ballot and candidate information at idahopress.com/elections, and look over the races on your ballot at vote411.org.

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