More than 1,320,000 Iowans cast a ballot in Tuesday’s election. The commissioner of Iowa’s elections, Paul Pate, says that tops the previous record for a mid-term election set in 2014 (1,142,311 votes).
Turnout among Iowans who are registered to vote came close to setting a record this year. “We’re looking right at, probably, 61-percent by the time we get everything in,” Pate said. Turnout for the mid-term election in 1994 topped 62-percent.
Pate, a Republican, was re-elected Tuesday as Iowa’s Secretary of State. On Wednesday, he said his office is still calculating the percentage of Iowans who voted “early” compared to those who voted on Election Day. “But, it was very clear that in some of the major counties – Polk and Johnson – we had a significant increase in early voting,” Pate said. Earlier this week, the Secretary of State’s office reported 529,612 early votes were cast in this election.
According to Pate, there were no “serious” problems reported on Election Day at precincts around the state. “I think Polk County had some instances – they ran out of ballots or envelopes and they had to make some runs to the courthouse to have them replenished,” Pate said. “Fortunately, voters were patient and nobody was turned away.”
The U.S. Department of Justice sent personnel to 35 jurisdictions in 19 states to monitor compliance with federal voting rights laws. That included Buena Vista County in northwest Iowa. Pate said he’s not heard anything from the DOJ: