The state’s top election official is distributing $2 million to Iowa counites to help local officials prepare for in-person voting on November 3rd at precincts throughout the state.

Secretary of State Paul Pate released a recorded message about the preparations. “Making sure can safely cast their ballots is vital,” Pate said. “It is your choice whether you want to vote absentee or at the polls…and polls will be open on November 3.”

The money comes from the federal CARES Act which passed congress at the beginning of the pandemic. Pate is also distributing face shields, masks, and gloves for the poll workers who’ll be managing Election Day voting, as well as hand sanitizer and social distancing markers to guide voters.

“We are providing the materials necessary to protect voters and poll workers and to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19,” Pate said. Pate took the same steps before the June 2nd primary. Some local election officials dramatically reduced the number of Primary Day voting sites by consolidating precincts, but new state law forbids county auditors from reducing the number of precincts in a county by more than 35%.