Voters urged to cast absentee ballots

    COUNTY – The primary election still will be held June 2, but local and state officials are urging voters to consider absentee ballots this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Shelby County Auditor and Elections Commissioner Mark Maxwell said this week Secretary of State Paul Pate issued a directive this week that extends the absentee voting period to 40 days for Iowans who choose to vote by mail in the June primary.
    The directive also encourages Iowans to cast ballots by mail.
    “Elections, we got notified yesterday, are going to go on as planned,” Maxwell said.  “There might be some changes coming forward, but everybody’s being encouraged to, please, ask for an absentee ballot request form, and we’re going to try and do this by mail as much as possible.”
    This will minimize the number of workers needed, Maxwell said, and counties are being allowed to combine precincts because finding workers may be difficult.
    “More details are to come,” Maxwell said.
    Requests for an absentee ballot can be made by contacting the Shelby County Auditor’s Office at 712-755-3831 extension 6.
    The auditor’s office can begin mailing domestic absentee ballots on Thursday, April 23.  In-person absentee voting still can’t begin sooner than 29 days, which is May 4.
    •  The county auditor will mail absentee ballots directly to health care facility residents who request them.
    •  Any voter admitted to a health care facility after the absentee ballot request deadline (May 22) can request and receive a ballot.
    •  Any satellite location used during the primary will be determined by Maxwell.
    •  Acceptable forms of identification that have expired in 2020 (since January 1, 2020) shall be current and valid when presented at the polling place on the Primary Election day.
    •  Poll watchers are limited to one per party per polling place.
    •  Precinct election officials do not need to be party-balanced at any polling place.
    “As the Coronavirus pandemic is evolving constantly, we continue to monitor closely the situation around in-person absentee voting,” said Maxwell.  
    “We are very aware of your concerns and are reviewing plans daily. This is a difficult time for everyone, and we all are trying to do our very best.”


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