The start of election season in Iowa begins today. Chance McElhaney with the Iowa Secretary of State’s office says today is the first day you can cast an absentee ballot for the June 3rd primary. “You can fill out an absentee ballot in person at the local county auditor’s office, and in certain counties there are satellite locations as well. So if that is something you would be interested in, you can check with your local county auditor’s office,” McElhaney.
There are some other ways you can get an absentee ballot. “Go to the Secretary of State’s website, SOS.Iowa.gov, and fill out the official State of Iowa voter registration form. You can also go to your local county auditor’s website as well and you sent that in to your local county auditor,” McElhaney explains.
McElhaney says the absentee voting is open today through June 2nd. He has this warning for procrastinators. “The absentee ballots do need to be received by the county auditor before 9 p.m. on election day, Tuesday June 3rd to be eligible for counting,” McElhaney “If and absentee ballot is in the mail and is received by the county auditor after the polls close – it just has to have a postmark of Monday June 2nd or earlier.”
He says more people have been voting early in Iowa. “In the general election in 2012, a little of a third voted by absentee I believe. That can be people who vote in person at their county auditor’s office, or it can be people who request an absentee ballot by mail,” according the McElhaney.
Iowa has an open U.S. Senate seat for the first time since 1974 after Democrat Tom Harkin announced he would not run again. Six Republicans are competing in the primary for a chance to run for that seat. There are three Republicans and five Democrats running to replace Congressman Bruce Braley, who is the only Democrat running for the U.S. Senate seat. Six Republican candidates are vying for the Third District Congressional seat being left open by the retirement of Tom Latham.