Iowa Sending Absentee Ballot Applications to Active Registered Voters

All active registered voters in Iowa, totalling about 2 million, will start receiving absentee ballot applications this weekend, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pates office announced on Friday.

The sending of the forms ahead of the November general election is part of efforts to encourage social distancing at polling places amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, the office said in a news release.

“Iowans have options about how they choose to cast their vote,” Pate said in a statement. “You can vote from home, you can vote in-person at your county auditors office, or at the polls on Election Day. The key is we want every eligible Iowan to participate and to be safe while voting.”

Front of the Official State of Iowa Absentee Ballot Request Form mailing. (Office of the Iowa Secretary of State)
Back of the Official State of Iowa Absentee Ballot Request Form mailing. (Office of the Iowa Secretary of State)

The announcement said that county auditors will begin mailing ballots on Oct. 5. Ballot request forms must be received no later than Oct. 24 at 5 p.m.

On Twitter, Pate said that Iowans can track their absentee requests and absentee ballots online. “The system posts updates after the county auditor has received your request, mailed your ballot and when you return your ballot,” he wrote.

Pate had sent out absentee ballot request forms across the state ahead of the June 2 Republican primary, which resulted in a record-high voter participation of more than 530,000 Iowans, his office noted.

2 Counties Singled Out

The office said that voters may have received absentee request forms from other parties such as from county auditors, political parties, and other groups, but that they only need to send in one form—unless they are from Linn and Woodbury counties.

“Judicial rulings have invalidated forms that were pre-filled by those auditors [in Linn and Woodbury counties],” Pates office announced.

Pate specifically said that voters in Linn and Woodbury counties should fill out and return the form his office is sending them, and disregard “a pre-filled absentee request form” they had received previously.

“Unfortunately, we had a few county auditors who made reckless decisions that have confused voters and possibly disenfranchised them. This mailing from my office will help ensure those Iowans receive ballots and are able to vote,” he said.

In late August, an Iowa judge ordered Linn County Auditor Joel Miller to _

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