County auditors concerned with new mail absentee voting rules

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Early voting for the November 2, 2021 school and city elections started on Wednesday.

Some may or may not have experienced voting with some of those new election law changes over the summer. In Polk County, most of the voters planning on voting absentee in this election will be dealing with a new set of rules.

“A lot of the changes people don’t feel were needed,” Jamie Fitzgerald, Polk County Auditor said. “To shrink those numbers puts a lot of stress on local county auditors; we are well advanced here in Polk county we can handle it but we worry about some of the rural counties.”

The concern is that in rural areas where a lot more people traditionally vote absentee by mail, the new rules may have some votes make it to the county auditor’s office by the new election day deadline.

“Warren County has a lot of the older generation and they like us to request us to mail them their absentee ballot request,” Kim Sheets, Warren County Deputy Auditor (D) said. “And they want to mail it back in and that does take time with that shortened time period.”

People in Jasper County had a special election on Tuesday of this week. Dennis Parrott, the Jasper County Auditor told WHO 13 that out of 1,112 absentee ballots, all but 12 were done in the county office. And no absentee ballots had to be thrown out.

October 13 was the first day county auditors could send out absentee ballots to those who requested them. The last day to request an absentee ballot via mail is October 18 at 5 p.m.

To view more information on absentee voting click here and for more information on election rule changes in general go to the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

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