Northwest Iowa — Iowans who want to vote absentee in Tuesday’s Democratic or Republican primaries have until the end of the day today (Monday) to get their ballots in the mail or drop them off at their county auditor’s office. Secretary of State Paul Pate says the auditor’s offices in all 99 counties will be open today for eight hours.
So far, the Secretary of State’s office says more than 25-thousand absentee ballots have been hand-delivered and many more will be carried in today — by voters themselves and by mail. Ballots must be postmarked on or before today’s date of June 6th.
Iowa also has same-day voter registration. The polls will be open from 7 a-m until 9 p-m tomorrow for those who wish to vote in person.
Locally, in Osceola County, they have received 84 requests for absentee ballots this year. As of Monday morning, 72 of those had been returned.
In O’Brien County, election officials are reporting 277 Primary Election absentee ballot requests. As of Monday morning, 253 of those had been returned. That’s up from 2014 when there were 194 requests and 2012 when there were 131, but it’s basically the same as in 2010 when there were 278 requests, but it’s up significantly from eight years ago in 2008 when there were only 56 requests.
In Sioux County this year, 721 ballots had been requested and 581 had been returned as of Monday morning. That’s up significantly from 2014 when there were 275 primary ballot requests and it’s nearly ten times the number of ballots requested in 2012 when 76 ballots were issued. In the 2010 primary election, Sioux County voters received 363 absentee ballots. In the 2006 primary, it was 268.
In Lyon County, as of mid-day on Monday, 105 ballots had been turned in, according to election officials. They say that in the 2014 primary, 241 ballots were turned in. In the primary of 2012, 485 ballots were turned in, and in the 2010 Primary it was 135.
Obviously it makes a difference what offices and candidates are on the ballot, but the general trend in northwest Iowa and elsewhere in the state is toward more absentee voting.
Auditors’ Offices are open until 5 tonight (Monday) in some counties and 4:30 in others; and polls will be open from 7 AM to 9 PM on Tuesday.