There are 40 days left ’til Election Day, but Iowans can start voting — in person — at their county auditor’s office today.
Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald says many of the people who’ve called his office in the past few weeks were not asking about early voting, however.
“People are more interested in getting their name of the call list than in early voting right now,” Fitzgerald says.
Casting an early vote means your name may be taken off those lists, as you’re no longer a prospective supporter to be wooed by a phone call. Fitzgerald says for Iowa voters, their phone has been ringing “almost non-stop.”
“There are a lot of campaigns that are doing phone calls and it seems like the phone calls have been going on for 18-24 months,” Fitzgerald says.
That’s because with the January 3, 2012 Iowa Caucuses, the presidential campaigning began here long before it reached the rest of the country.
Iowa is among 32 states that allows early voting. It’s the first of the “swing” states in the presidential election to begin accepting ballots in person at auditor’s offices and county auditors like Fitzgerald say both presidential campaigns have made a huge push for such “early” votes this year.
“Get their (supporters’) votes in the bank, and then move on to undecided voters,” Fitzgerald says.
In addition to early voting at your county auditor’s office, state law allows voting at so-called “satellite” sites for at least one day before the November 6th General Election. Anyone who collects 100 signatures on a petition can ask for a specific satellite voting site in their county. Crawford County Auditor Terri Martens says as a result of petitions, she’s preparing two satellite voting sites in Denison.
“The name of the locations are La Jaliscience Tienda and Tienda El Mexicano,” Martens says. “They are both Hispanic grocery stores.”
Voting will be allowed at both stores for one day, from noon to six. A wide variety of “satellite” voting options are available throughout the state, with one-day voting sites in public libraries and even in churches.
Democrats petitioned to have a polling site open on the University of Northern Iowa campus tomorrow – the same day First Lady Michelle Obama will be in Cedar Falls for an early afternoon rally. The Romney campaign plans an early voting rally today in Cedar Rapids, featuring Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. Actor Jason Alexander who played George Costanza on the long-running TV comedy “Seinfeld” is in Des Moines today for early voting events, including a cocktail hour at brew pub.