Today is a key day in kicking off the state’s primary election process.

Woodbury County Elections Commissioner Pat Gill says it marks 20 days out from the election. “And that’s when we can start mailing ballots to people who have requested absentee ballots and also that really marks the occasion when the in-person absentee voting is taking place.”

Gill says a change in state law means you will no longer get an absentee ballot request in the mail from your county. “We sent out a mailing earlier that explained to them that we could no longer do that. Voters are pretty angry about that honestly — but they’re just going to have to adjust that to law,” he says. “I didn’t do it I sure wish we could still do it because it does affect the number of people who cast their ballots in these types of elections.”

Redistricting has changed a lot of things for this election cycle and Gill says they’ve tried to inform voters. “A lot of their precincts change and their polling place changed so we are sending out a mailing that should hit all the active voters in Woodbury County this week explaining to them about voting here in the courthouse but also where their new polling place is,” Gill says.

County election offices are open for early in-person voting now through June 6th. Today is also the first day county auditors can start mailing absentee ballots to voters who requested them.

Absentee ballots must be received by your county auditor by 8 p.m. on June 7th to be counted. You can also vote in person on primary election day June 7th.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)