Are you ready to vote?
The answer to that for many Iowans eager to see Donald Trump leave the White House is an emphatic “yes,” and today is when you can take the first step toward getting your ballot. July 6 is the first day that Iowa’s county auditors will begin accepting absentee ballot requests.
Over 77% of the votes cast in the June 2 primary were absentee ballots, and with the coronavirus pandemic only heating back up in Iowa, it’s quite likely that many Iowans will want to avoid the polls again in November.
If you want to get a jump on requesting your ballot, you can find all the links you need for forms and information at this page on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website. You can fill in and print out an absentee ballot request form here and find your local county auditor’s website and mailing address here. You send your absentee request to your county auditor, not the Secretary of State.
When filling out your absentee ballot request form, it’s important to make sure you complete the ID Number section of the form, which asks for your driver’s license or voter ID number. At the end of this year’s legislative session, Republican lawmakers passed a bill at the last minute that prevents county auditors from filling in missing information from a voter’s absentee request. There may be a lawsuit over this, but for your purposes, just make sure you fill this section out to avoid any complications.
If you don’t have a driver’s license and don’t have your voter ID card on you (few will), call your local county auditor to obtain it.
The Secretary of State likely won’t send out a statewide absentee ballot request mailer like they did for the primary after Republican legislators also moved to block that following that election’s historic turnout. However, the individual parties and campaigns, as well as many county auditors, will be sending their own request forms out to voters (the parties will typically target just their supporters).
It’s rather likely that you will receive an absentee ballot request form at some point in the mail, especially if you are a registered Democrat or Republican, though it won’t be until closer to the election, probably in August or September.
The actual ballots are not sent out until October 5, so you’ve got some time to wait for your ballot, but it’s always a good idea to get your request in well ahead of time.
by Pat Rynard
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