Absentee Voting in 2020

This year, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and the 55th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that declared restrictions based on race to be discriminatory; and we recognize and honor the sacrifices that countless men and women made to secure this invaluable right of citizenship in our democracy.  As part of the P-JPAN Our Faith Our Vote 2020, we urge you and all eligible persons to exercise this right, by voting in the November election.

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the P-JPAN once again urges Plymouth members to vote absentee.  By now, most people have received one or more forms to request an absentee ballot,  However, if you have not, you can use the online version available at the Iowa Secretary of State’s website at https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/pdf/absenteeballotapp.pdf.

Following are responses to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about voter registration and absentee voting, based on information provided by the Polk County auditor in the August 23 Des Moines Register and the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.

Q: What’s the difference between “early” voting, “mail-in” voting, and “absentee” voting?
A: In Iowa, they are all the same thing.

Q: Where do I sent my absentee ballot request form?
A: You should send the form to the auditor’s office for the county in which you reside.  The request must be received by the county auditor no later than 5 p.m. October 24.

Q: What happens if someone mails in more than one absentee ballot request form?
A: You will only get one ballot.  No one will get in trouble if they send two requests for a ballot.

Q: How do I know if my absentee ballot request form has been received?
A: You can check the secretary of state’s tracker at https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/absenteeballotstatus/absentee/search to see the date your absentee ballot request was processed by the county auditor.

Q: What’s the most common mistake made in filling out out a request for an absentee ballot?
A: Not including a driver’s license number.

Q: If someone sends a request for an absentee ballot, when can they expect to receive an actual ballot to vote?
A: The County Auditor cannot mail ballots until October 5; they should arrive soon after that. You can check the secretary of state’s tracker (see link above) for the status of your absentee ballot, including the date the county auditor sent your ballot, and the date the auditor received your voted ballot.

Q: Some people have concerns about mail delivery. Can completed ballots be dropped off at county auditor offices?
A: Yes. After you receive your ballot, you can choose to bring it to your county auditor’s office.

Q: Can a person register to vote after a felony conviction?
A: On Wednesday, August 5, 2020, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed Executive Order Number Seven (EO7) relating to registering to vote after a felony conviction.  The Iowa Secretary of State’s website includes an explanation of EO7 at https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterinformation/restorerights.html.