WRIGHT COUNTY, Iowa — Absentee voters in Wright County are not as common as back in 2018 when 1,822 voters requested to vote in that manner. This time, there are 927 requests for absentee ballots, and 763 so far have been returned.

“I just feel like it is easier, I come over to the Auditor’s Office I get a sample ballot I can take it home and study,” said Denise Baker, who is a voter, and also serves as the Wright County Recorder. “If there are people on ballot I’m not familiar with I can do a little research.” 

The county has a total of five polling locations on Election Day, and the ballot box for early voters is located in the Wright County Auditor’s Office, inside the courthouse in Clarion.

“Anybody who votes and requested an absentee ballot, and wished not to send it back in the mail, they can come to our office and drop it off,” said Betty Ellis, who has served as the Wright County Auditor for the past 22 years. “We are open from 8:00 to 4:00 Monday through Friday, Saturday we are going to be open from 9:00 to 5:00 on Saturday for people who wish to come and vote in our office.”

Earlier this fall the Iowa Secretary of State said some counties were still seeking poll workers. That is not a problem in Wright County.

“We’ve had a lot of people register online to request to help,” said Ellis. “We talked to our current PEOs (precinct election officials) and say do you know somebody that you like to work with all day sometimes they’re even recruiting friends of theirs.”

Ellis chalks that up to living in a small county.

There is also a local issue that may attract voters in the county. A ballot question asks whether Wright County should go from a three-seat Board of Supervisors to a five-seat board.

Ellis said most of the work for elections goes on weeks before the big day. If all goes as planned, the votes should be tallied early here next Tuesday night.

“We have runners people that will go and pick up the equipment and bring it back to the courthouse,” said Ellis. “We upload the results on a tabulating laptop and from there will probably be out of here by 9:30.”