Voters cast their ballots in Scott Co. as Iowa early voting begins
SCOTT Co., Iowa (KWQC) - With Election Day quickly approaching, voters in Iowa now have the opportunity cast their ballots either by mail, or in-person early voting for the 2020 general election.
Monday kicked off early voting across the state as people headed to their county auditor’s offices and satellite locations to cast their ballots.
At the Scott County Administrative Center, there was a steady flow of voters throughout much of the day.
Roxanna Moritz, Scott County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections said, “Today’s the first day to come in and do early absentee. We’ve had a line – a steady line since about 7:15-7:30 this morning, quite a few people early on wanting to vote.”
According to Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, as of Friday, 632,549 voters in the state had requested an absentee ballot. Moritz said late Monday morning the county was preparing to take 37,000 absentee ballots to the post office to mail out.
“Make sure that if you’re ready to vote to get them back into us you can mail them, drop them off here in the administrative building right in the front door, or we have a drop box,” Moritz explained.
If you have requested an absentee ballot in Scott County, you will receive it by mail from the Auditor’s office. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. Iowa residents can find the link to the ballot request form by clicking here.
TV6 asked Moritz about voter confidence in mail-in ballots and whether people should have concerns. “None of our policies or practices have changed here in Iowa. Since I’ve been in office we’ve had three recounts, I’ve had three post-audit elections. Every single one has come out perfect. We have equipment we really trust and count on,” said Moritz, “A lot of things working behind the scenes to ensure not only we have a safe, but we have a fair, balanced, and accurate election.”
If you change your mind and decide to vote on Election Day, you can also bring your ballot to the poll and surrender it.
“I’ve met with both our postmasters at Bettendorf as well as Davenport. I think you can feel safe if you put that in the mail that we’re gonna get it. Remember you can go to our website and track your ballot,” said Moritz.
TV6 spoke with voters who decided to participate in early in-person voting on Monday. For some, voting early was a matter of convenience, but for others, it was a bit more personal.
“It’s just your civic duty and your privilege. We need to all do it,” said voter Cathy Zabel.
Zabel said she became a widow a year ago and doesn’t drive well. “My husband was my GPS driver,” said Zabel. Unsure of what the weather will be like on Nov. 3, it was important for Zabel to be proactive and cast her vote early.
Voter James Hickles said, “I originally requested an absentee ballot but I wanted to do that just in case they didn’t offer in person. I like to do it in person myself. Many times I didn’t get to do it in person being overseas, stationed overseas, so a lot of times I didn’t do it, so I did absentee. In this case, anytime I get an opportunity I like to come and do it in person.”
“This particular year is very critical," said Hickles.
“I’ve been voting for 35 plus years and I haven’t ran across one as intense as this one has been. I’ve been doing a lot of researching and reading and so I decided this time it makes a big difference the way our country moves,” he said.
Hickles said the entire process was smooth and he waited about 30 minutes to vote.
“Very simple, very easy," Hickles said. "This is the first time I’ve had to wait this long. Usually, it’s five minutes in and out. It was really easy, I’m just glad it wasn’t too long.”
John Niers, who voted early Monday said voting is something he is proud to do and considers an honor.
“I think this is a very important thing. People in other countries have died for the opportunity to vote. I wasn’t born in this country so I became a naturalized citizen and I’m very proud of that. When I got my citizenship many, many years ago they told me I could vote and I’ve never missed an election," said Niers.
Niers explained he feels more comfortable voting in-person than by mail.
“With all of the controversy over the U.S. Postal Office and such I feel better voting in person. It’s my personal choice. I’m sure the post office does a good job. Today’s the first day we can vote here in Iowa and I feel good and I like to get the accomplishment done.”
Voters who spoke with TV6 explained why they feel it is important for people to vote in the 2020 general election, and for people who have not registered, to take the opportunity to do so.
“I think it’s more than just a civic duty. It’s an honor to be able to do so, like I said earlier. Other people in other countries have died for the opportunity to vote and we get to do it here. It’s great,” said Niers.
“I have been in three different war zones and I fight. I was fighting for everybody’s rights and so for me it’s very important that everybody gets that chance to do whichever said they want to vote on. But always do the research. Don’t just blanketly do an 'R' and ‘D.’ It just drives me crazy when people do that. Look at the person, get the knowledge, and then go down there and do whatever you need to do,” said Hickles.
For more information on elections in Scott County, click here.
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