Today is the deadline for getting that Iowa absentee ballot in the mail. Phyllis Peters is a spokeswoman for Iowa’s Commissioner of Elections. Peters suggests mailing your ballot as soon as possible today, and checking to ensure when the mail is collected from the drop-off box to ensure your ballot will indeed get today’s date stamped on it. Peters says state election law stipulates that absentee ballots must be postmarked by the date before the General Election. Ballots stamped with November 1st will be counted all the way up to November 8th, next Monday, to accommodate ballots that may get lost in the mail or ballots that are coming from other states where Iowans may be staying temporarily. Another reminder: the envelope carrying the ballot must be sealed AND signed. Peters says her office will know later today how many absentee ballots remain uncast. Peters says on Friday, about 100-thousand absentee ballots that had been requested had not been mailed in to county auditors. She says many ballots were probably mailed this weekend, so she expects the number of uncast absentee ballots to shrink. Peters says the term “absentee ballot” covers ballots that were cast at satellite voting stations and ballots cast at county auditors’ offices around the state, too. There are no satellite voting stations operating in Iowa today, but you may still go into your county auditor’s office and cast an absentee ballot until the close of business today. Tomorrow, the polls open at 7 a.m. around the state and you can cast a traditional ballot. State officials estimate that nearly one-third of the votes cast in the 2004 election in Iowa will be cast before election day.
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