Absentee in-person voting starts Monday

Auditor reminds voters who requested mail-in ballots to vote on that ballot only


LEE COUNTY – The 2020 general election casting of votes starts Monday with in-person absentee voting, as well as the mailing of requested absentee ballots.

Lee County Auditor Denise Fraise said there has been numerous calls to her office staff with questions and concerns about the number of mailers received this year and waning confidence in the system.

“We’re getting calls and other counties are getting calls and talking about to,” Fraise said. “With all the hub-bub out there on mail-in ballots people are getting nervous.”

She said if residents requested a mail-in ballot, those will be sent via the U.S. Postal service on Monday, so the ballots should arrive in the days following.

“If you requested a mail-in ballot, you must vote on the ballot you requested. You won’t be able to come in, in-person and vote,” she said.

“Since the voter’s record will reflect that a ballot has been requested, voters who have requested ballots by mail will need to wait for their ballots to arrive rather than attempting to vote in person.

Residents will only receive one absentee ballot in the mail, despite all the other mail-in request forms that came from a bevy of political action committees over the past few weeks.

Anyone who didn’t request a mail-in ballot will be allowed to vote in person starting Monday in Fort Madison and Keokuk.

In-person voting in Fort Madison will be at the North Lee County Administration building at 933 Avenue H from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Voters are asked to enter through the east side of the building where security will screen temperatures and ask COVID-19 related questions. All exiting will be through the south door on Avenue H.

In Keokuk, voting will take place at the South Lee County Courthouse 25 N. 7th Street, from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Only the door on 7th Street will be open and security be on hand there as well.

Face coverings and social distancing will be required.

Fraise said identification is required for in-person voting and one of the following is required: Iowa Voter Identification Card, Iowa Driver’s License, Iowa non-operator ID, U.S. Military ID or Veteran ID, U.S. Passport, or Tribal ID Card/Document.

The mail-in ballots must be postmarked by the end of the day Nov. 2 to be counted. However, mail-in ballots can be dropped in the county drop boxes or delivered in person at the auditor’s office until 9 p.m. on Nov. 3.

This year the county will also provide curbside voting for anyone not wishing to come inside. Voters should pull to the back of the administration building in Fort Madison through the alley on 9th Street heading west and call 372-3705 to inform staff you are parked.

In Keokuk, curbside voters should call 319-526-8592

Fraise said she thinks in-person absentee voting will be popular this year.

“We’ll probably be busy. I think people have been waiting on the day for this to start,” she said.

She’s confident in Iowa’s ability to handle all the mail-in balloting properly, despite issues that plagued the Iowa caucuses earlier this year.

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