Secretary of State Paul Pate — the state’s commissioner of elections — says a record 487,000 votes were cast in the primary, even though in-person voting was sparse.

“Everything went real well — a real light physical turnout, but basically that was our plan and that’s what we anticipated,” Pate says. “Most people stepped up and did the absentee.” Those who did vote yesterday were greeted by poll workers wearing masks and gloves.

Voters in Johnson, Linn and Emmet Counties also had the option of actual drive-thru voting. “It was kind of a hybrid of the curbside concept,” Pate says. “They said: ‘Well, if we’re going to do curbside, why don’t we just have people out here waiting and, if you pull up, we’ll process you from your car.”

There are normally 1,681 precincts, but due to concerns about the pandemic and the emphasis on voting early by absentee ballot, precincts were consolidated into 514 polling sites Tuesday.