There is a persistent rumor that swirls around every election concerning absentee ballots. The rumor goes like this: “You know, your absentee ballot is only counted if the race for (insert an office) is close. Otherwise, your absentee ballot is not counted”.
That rumor is 100% #FakeNews!
In Iowa, every eligible ballot/vote is counted. Some ballots are not counted because the voter was not qualified to vote or the absentee ballot was received too late to be counted.
Some absentee ballots are not counted because the voter never mails the ballot back to our office with a November 5th or earlier postmark; or never hands it over to our office by 9pm on Election Day.
In the 2016 general election, voters failed to return over 3,000 absentee ballots to Linn County Elections. Those 3,000 plus votes might have changed the outcome in one or more races, e.g., Ray v Oleson.
As of 8am today (10/31), more than 8,000 absentee ballot have NOT been returned to Linn County Elections.
If you threw your absentee ballot in the trash, we can send you a replacement absentee ballot until 5pm this Friday, November 2nd. Sorry, it is too late to request an absentee ballot via the mail, but you can still vote early/absentee in our office. -Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor