Election Day is 40 days away yet many Iowans are already casting their ballots as early voting begins today. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who’s not up for re-election this year, typically votes absentee himself but says he’s not a fan of how the election process is evolving.
“I think it’s a good thing to have more access to voting,” Grassley says, “but I do think it’s a little ridiculous to have it start so early.” While 30-percent of Iowans voted absentee in 2010, that number jumped to 43-percent in 2012.
This year, 130,000 Iowans requested absentee ballots, more than twice the number from the last midterm election. “I think that Election Day is too long now,” Grassley says. “Exactly what’s the right amount of time? I don’t know.” Grassley says people who are casting their ballots today might find themselves with a case of voter’s remorse if any sort of scandal errupts during the next 40 days before November 4th. “We ought to encourage people to think as much as they can about what happens over the next six weeks, seven weeks, before the election,” Grassley says. “Things could change your mind about who you’re going to vote for, so voting early curtails that.”
Beginning this morning, Iowans can vote in person at their county auditor’s office, via absentee ballot through the mail, or at temporary “satellite” sites. If you’re annoyed by telephone calls from pollsters, one campaign official says if you vote early, you’ll be taken off all of the calling lists.