As county auditors begin to plan for the November 3 General Election and continue to grapple with the uncertainties created by COVID-19, the Decatur County Auditor's Office is sharing the following information and renews its appeal to every voter to complete an Absentee Ballot Request Form so that you can vote from home this fall.
Candidate Filing Deadlines Update: Recent legislation (HF 2486) extended the filing deadline for the non-partisan offices of Township Trustee and County Hospital Trustee to Wednesday, August 26, at 5:00 p.m. This extension applies only to the 2020 General Election. Candidate information packets are available from the Decatur County Auditor’s Office and on the Elections Page of this site.
Absentee Ballot Request Forms:
On Friday, July 17, the Legislative Council approved an Emergency Election Directive allowing Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate to mail an absentee ballot request form to Iowa's active registered voters for the 2020 General Election. The SOS Office has indicated this mailing is scheduled for late August.
The ABR form is also readily available from a number of sources. It can be printed from the county’s website or the Secretary of State’s website (www.sos.iowa.gov). There will undoubtedly be several partisan and non-partisan organizations mailing and/or going door-to-door with ABR forms for voters. Voters who do not have internet access may call 641/446-4323 or e-mail the Auditor’s Office to request an ABR form. And, because including the “clip ‘n complete” informational/ABR flyer in the local newspapers for the June Primary was so well received, the Auditor’s Office is currently considering this manner of reaching voters again.
Absentee Ballots/Voting: Iowans can begin requesting absentee ballots 120 days before an election, and that period started July 6. However, it is important to note that county auditors cannot begin issuing ballots, whether by mail or in-person, until October 5. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Saturday, October 24. In-person absentee voting at the Decatur County Courthouse ends Monday, November 2, and will also be available to voters on two Saturdays preceding the election: October 24 (8am-5pm) and October 31 (9am-5pm).
Election Day Polling Places/Election Workers: Ideally, all seven Decatur County polling places will be open for the General Election. However, we have the knowledge of lessons learned from the Primary to help us evaluate plans for the General. One big lesson learned is the near certainty that we simply will not have enough election workers to adequately staff all seven polling places. Decatur County has a wonderful group of individuals who time and again provide a big service to the county as election workers, but the majority of these workers fall into the “most at-risk” category for contracting COVID-19, so there are serious concerns about any potential exposure. Temporarily combining precincts can help address the potential shortage of election workers and may end up the only option available. Recruitment of new election workers is another solution. If you or someone you know is interested in serving as an election worker, please contact the Auditor’s Office for a Decatur County Election Worker Application as soon as possible.
As always, please visit the Elections Page of this site or contact the Decatur County Auditor’s Office (firstname.lastname@example.org, 446-4323) with any questions or concerns about the upcoming election.