Vote-buttonIowans who want to vote absentee in Tuesday’s Democratic or Republican primaries have until the end of the day today to get their ballots in the mail or drop them off at their county auditor’s office.

Secretary of State Paul Pate says the auditor’s offices in all 99 counties will be open today for eight hours. “Absentee ballots seem to be a trend where people are using it at higher and higher volumes,” Pate says. “In fact, we’re probably going to see 60 to 70 percent of those people who vote will vote by mail. When you start mailing it on a Saturday or Sunday, there’s a good chance we may not receive it time, so we want to make sure we get their vote counted.”

So far, the Secretary of State’s office says more than 25,000 absentee ballots have been hand-delivered and many more will be carried in today — by voters themselves and by mail. Ballots must be postmarked on or before today’s date of June 6th.

“And there are ways we can check that,” Pate says. “Obviously, you all know about the postmarking, you have on an envelope, but they also have barcodes they run on the envelopes now, which we monitor that to help assure us that we’re counting every ballot that was cast in time.” Iowa also has same-day voter registration.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. tomorrow for those who wish to vote in person.

(Thanks to Sarah Boden, Iowa Public Radio)