A state board reports more than 60 percent of eligible government employees have already cast ballots in “recertification” votes for their local bargaining unit.

A new state law requires a vote to recertify union representation for a bargaining unit before contracts talks with public employees may begin. Eighty-seven percent of the educators covered by 13 contracts negotiated by Iowa State Education Association members voted in September — and the recertification votes passed overwhelmingly.

Voting began this past Tuesday for 477 more bargaining units. Those units represent more than 33,000 employees who work for state and local governments. The Iowa Public Employment Relations Board reports more than 20,000 of those workers voted in just the first two days of voting.

The voting is being conducted online or over the phone. Votes may be cast through October 24.