The following news release came from two state officials. One is a Republican (Secretary of State Matt Schultz). The other is a Democrat (Attorney General Tom Miller):
(DES MOINES, Iowa) With Iowa already surpassing the absentee voting record set in the 2008 General Election, Secretary of State Matt Schultz and Attorney General Tom Miller remind Iowans that state voting laws set forth special deadlines and procedures for requesting, filling out, and returning absentee ballots.
“As of close of business Wednesday, October 31, 557,432 Iowa voters have cast their ballots, with several more days to go before Tuesday, November 6. This surpasses the 2008 record of just over 545,000,” Schultz said.
“Since Iowa voters are requesting absentee ballots at a much higher rate than ever before, they need to be aware of how the process works,” Miller said. “If you’re voting absentee, make sure your vote counts.”
• Any registered voter may vote at their county auditor’s office or at any satellite voting station through Monday. County auditor offices are also open Saturday, November 3 from 9AM-5PM in all 99 counties.
• Registered voters who plan to request an absentee ballot must deliver the absentee ballot request by mail, fax, or email to their county auditor by 5 p.m. on Friday. If a voter emails or faxes their application, they must ensure the county auditor receives their original signed request form by 5 p.m. on Friday, or it must be postmarked by that same deadline and received by the auditor’s office no later than 9 p.m. on Tuesday.
• Once an absentee voter fills out their ballot, they can mail or deliver the ballot in the sealed return envelope to their county auditor’s office. The sealed envelope must be received in the county auditor’s office by 9 p.m. Tuesday. If voters mail the sealed return envelopes, they must be postmarked (by an authorized postal service) by Monday, November 5 and the auditor’s office must receive the mailed ballot by noon on Tuesday, November 13.
A voter who received an absentee ballot and then decides to cast their vote at the polling place instead of voting absentee, loses their absentee ballot, or misses the absentee ballot return deadline, should keep these procedures in mind:
• A voter who received an absentee ballot and misses the return deadline may bring the absentee ballot to the precinct polling place on Election Day, surrender the absentee ballot to precinct officials, and then vote in person.
• A voter who received an absentee ballot but lost it may appear at the precinct polling place and, if precinct election officials confirm that the county auditor has not received the absentee ballot, may vote in person.
• A voter who requested an absentee ballot by mail but never received the absentee ballot, may appear at the precinct polling place and, if precinct election officials confirm that the county auditor did not receive the absentee ballot, may vote in person.
• If precinct election officials are unable to confirm whether an absentee ballot has already been cast, the voter should cast a provisional ballot at the precinct polling place. A provisional ballot is given to a voter whose eligibility is uncertain, and the ballot is counted only after the voter’s eligibility has been later verified.
“If anyone is not sure about how to handle their absentee ballot, they should contact their county auditor’s office,” Schultz said. “Voters can also find voting information on our website at www.sos.iowa.gov, or download our free ‘Iowa Secretary of State’ app for Android, iPhone, or iPad. Whether you vote absentee or vote at the polls on Election Day, the important thing is to cast your vote.”