Absentee ballots waiting to be turned in a week before Election Day

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Election Day is just a week away for school and city elections. However new voting laws have already had an impact on how people are able to vote.

For absentee voting by mail, a request was needed in the office 15 days before Election Day. That is a change from the last law requiring it to be 11. At the Polk County Auditor’s office that change has been noticed.

“In terms of only voting we had roughly 200 people that with the new laws that unable to get an absentee ballot and we have informed them that they can come to our office or go to the polling site,” said Jamie Fitzgerald the Polk County Auditor.

Polk County has around 7,500 total absentee ballots for this election. As of Tuesday 68% of those ballots have been turned in with 1,400 still remaining.

“And for those 1400 people that do not have their ballot in yet they have until the close of election night November 2nd at 8 p.m.,” Fitzgerald said. “Postmarks are no longer guaranteed under the new laws…so we are encouraging them to get sent back.”

The Polk County office is seeing 100 to 110 people come in and vote absentee every single day.

In Dallas County they have 1,588 mail absentee requests. Of those requests 58% have been turned back in. 370 people have voted in person. So the county has had a total of 1,284 absentee voters turn in their ballots prior to Election Day.

In Warren County they had to mail back several absentee ballot requests as they were past the new deadline set by law.

To see more about absentee voting, how to track your ballot and see if you are registered, go to the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

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