Presidential General Election Reminders
Early Voting Locations; Returning & Counting Absentee Ballots; Updated Election Day Polling Locations; Safety Precautions
LINN COUNTY, IA – October 28, 2020 – The Presidential General Election is Tuesday, November 3. Linn County Auditor’s Office reminds voters of the following information for this upcoming election.
Early Voting: Lindale Mall and 823 3rd St SW
Linn County voters have the option for in-person, early voting at two locations:
· Lindale Mall through Saturday, October 31 from 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. each day.
· 823 3rd St SW (across the street from the Linn County Public Service Center) Mondays-Saturdays, including Monday, November 2. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Voters must present an ID when voting in-person. Curbside voting is available at both locations.
Returning Absentee Ballots
Over 5,000 voters have not returned their mailed, absentee ballots. Voters can return their absentee ballots four different ways:
1. Mail their ballot. Ballots must be postmarked by Monday, November 2.
2. Drop their ballot in the white drop box at the Linn County Public Service Center, located at 935 2nd St SW in Cedar Rapids. Ballots must be in the drop box by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3.
3. Bring their ballot and envelope to an early voting location (locations listed above).
4. Take their ballot and envelope to an Election Day polling location. Absentee ballots will be ‘spoiled,’ and a replacement ballot will be issued.
Voters can track their absentee ballots on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.
Iowa law does not have any provisions nor mechanisms for a voter who has submitted a countable absentee ballot to replace that ballot with a new one for any reason, including that they changed their mind about which candidate they prefer in a race. While there are a small number of states that have such provisions, there would need to be legislation to change that in Iowa.
Counting Absentee Ballots
The Linn County Absentee and Special Voters Precinct Board (ASVP Board) will open absentee ballot envelopes on Saturday, October 31 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Linn County Public Service Center, as allowed by the Iowa Legislative Council. No ballots will be counted at that time.
Starting Monday, November 2, the ASVP Board will reconvene to continue opening absentee envelopes and begin counting ballots. The Board will continue counting absentee ballots through the evening and all day Tuesday, November 3.
The ASVP Board is a bi-partisan citizen group of Democrats and Republicans. The ASVP Board work must be done with bi-partisan pairs. For example, Democrat and Republican pairs open ballots together. Democrat and Republican pairs or groups also run the ballots through the ballot scanning machines. All ballots are kept locked and sealed throughout the ballot counting process.
The Republican Party and the Democratic Party are each allowed to send five poll watchers to view this process.
The number of returned absentee ballots is already very high, so the public is advised that full election results may be delayed until all absentee ballots received by the deadline are counted.
Updated Election Day Polling Places
On Election Day, November 3, voters will need to vote at their general election poll location. Due to COVID-19 and the derecho, many polling places have changed. The Auditor’s Office mailed a notice of updated polling places to all registered households in mid-October. To verify polling places, voters may enter their address into https://linncountyelections.org/lookup/.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Curbside voting is available at each polling location on Election Day. A majority of precinct election officials at each polling place are balanced between registered Democrats and Republicans.
Election Day Safety Precautions
The Linn County Auditor’s Office will use a number of health and security precautions on Election Day to safeguard voters and election workers, including:
· All election workers will be required to wear masks.
· All voters will be offered a free mask.
· A designated cleaning person will sanitize voting surfaces throughout the day.
· Disposable pens will be used.
· Plastic dividers will separate voting areas.
· 6-foot markers will be on the floor for social distancing.
· Hand sanitizer will be available for all voters.
To ensure safety, Linn County Sheriff’s deputies will be providing a presence at all polling locations throughout the day.
Questions regarding voter registration or absentee voting can be answered by visiting elections or calling 319-892-5300, option 1.
A calendar with the Presidential General Election deadlines is also available on Linn County’s website. Posted by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections