COVID-19 fears and possibly the convenience of voting from home have sent requests for absentee ballots soaring in the area. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate used the idea of voting absentee in the last primary election with great success. He sent absentee ballotrequest application forms to every voter in the state. Now he and area County Election Commissioners are seeing a large uptick in request forms for the November general election ballots.
In Winnebago County, the last presidential election drew around 800 absentee ballot requests. This year, Karla Weiss’ Office reports 1,750 ballot requests which are over double the number from 2016 and still more are coming in.
In Worth County, the story is much the same. The office has received roughly 1,140 requests which are about the same as the recent primary election and above what they received for the 2016 General Election. They too continue to receive more every day.
In Kossuth County, the Election Commissioners Office reports a similar surge in the number of ballot requests. The office has received 3,008 absentee ballot requests which are slightly above the number requested for the last primary and well above the 2016 general election totals.
Two area counties are seeing similar counts to both the primary and the last presidential election. Hancock County for example is reporting 1,625 absentee ballot requests compared to the 2016 election when they received 1,778 requests.
In Wright County where cases of COVID-19 have infected schools, manufacturing, and businesses, the count is similar to the last primary election. As of Wednesday, the office had received 2,061 requests with little under a month to go before the request deadline.
On October 5th, each of the Auditor’s Offices will be open for in person voting. On that day, ballots will be mailed out to all those who requested them.