Local officials explain mail-in ballots and why you’re getting multiple request forms

Published: Aug. 23, 2020 at 7:45 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The 2020 election is about ten weeks away, and local officials are preparing for mail-in ballots. Multiple mail-in ballot request forms are being delivered to each voter, and officials say that's nothing to worry about.

Roxanna Moritz, the Scott County auditor says this is something we normally see on election years. However, she believes we may see more in the next few weeks"because this is a very engaging election this year, and people want to participate and you're going to see multiple organizations... each one of them is different." Moritz explained Scott County sends ballot request forms to every registered voter, but other organizations will only send them to a select group. "If you sent one in already and you verified I have it, you don't need to send anymore. You only get one ballot," explains Moritz.

If you do choose to go through a different organization, make sure you know where it’s being sent. The GOP Remote Vote sends their mail to Peoria, Illinois first. Karen Kinney, the Rock Island County Clerk says this makes their job much more difficult because they have to wait longer for the requests to reach them. “Plus, we don’t know what we’re getting back, we don’t know if we’re getting them all back. We don’t know where this place is, there’s no address on it, no phone number. So that remains to be seen,” she says. The only way they’ll know if they’ve gotten every ballot request form is when ballots are delivered and a voter notifies their county they haven’t received a ballot. Moritz also says she knows the Center for Voters doesn’t have a completely up-to-date list, which may result in mail-in ballot request forms being sent to an inaccurate group.

If you're not sure your request form was received, you can contact your local county auditor or clerk. There will also be physical drop-off locations in both Scott and Rock Island County. Moritz says you can check the status of your ballot on their website, and you can get a notification when your absentee request has been entered into the system. "If you're tracking your ballot and you don't see that I've gotten it within 10 days of the time that you mailed it, you should call me, we can invalidate that ballot, and reissue another one in the state of Iowa. You can have three different ballots, you can make three mistakes."

Local officials also don't want voters to worry about someone voting more than once with mail-in ballots. Moritz explains they have a cross-match system between 30 states that can let them know which voters are requesting more than one ballot.

Moritz and Kinney say they're expecting a significantly larger amount of voters this year. Both Scott and Rock Island County have each already seen 10,000 mail-in ballot request forms. For reference, Scott County had 7,000 ballots sent by mail in the 2016 election. Moritz says she hopes voting by mail helps lessen lines and tension at polls on election day.

Mail-in ballots will be sent out on September 24 in Rock Island county, and October 5 in Scott county.

Officials urge you to get your ballots sent back as soon as possible after you get them. Moritz says voting by mail is safe and is in constant contact with the USPS, trusting them to make sure every vote is counted.

Rock Island County is in need of election judges. Republicans and Democrats are needed, you can apply through their website.

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