Expect new names on school board ballots, early voting begins Oct. 13

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Early voting for school and city elections begins Wednesday, Oct. 13 and you’ll see new names on the ballot. That’s because some school board members aren’t coming back.

Some said their decisions not to re-run were made before the pandemic, some because of family reasons and others saying it was time for new leadership.

Kalyn Cody said after a stressful two years on the Des Moines School Board, he’s not ready to take on another term.

“I’ve lost a ton of sleep trying to contemplate how to keep everyone as safe as possible,” Cody said. “It’s thinking about things I never thought that I’d have to think about in terms of a soccer stadium and the pandemic and getting sued at every turn or suing the state like that’s not what I expected my term to look like.”

It’s not the parents, but more so other members on the board for why he’s not planning to run again in November. Open seats like Cody’s are allowing for other candidates to be considered and lively elections that could lead to record voting numbers.

“Unfortunately in past years, such a small group was out voting so it put a lot of power and influence in that small group,” Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said. “So people need to step up and I think Iowans are tuning into that. And I think with the developments going on in our society over the last couple of years, people are a lot more interested in what’s happening under city level and their schools.”

Before you make your voice heard, there are new changes to remember. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is now 15 days before an election. Wednesday will mark 20 days until election day which leaves voters roughly five days, or until Oct. 18 to request a ballot.

You can vote absentee in person at your county auditor’s office up until Nov. 1. Election day is Nov. 2.

Whether you mail in or go to the polls, the soon to be former school board member wants Iowans to remember this.

“I hope that when the people turn out to vote, they’ll take into account the people who are really looking to support, uplift, enhance public education and not looking to candidates who are only trying to tear down the system from within,” Cody said.

To learn more about voting in the upcoming city and school elections, visit voterready.iowa.gov

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