Absentee Ballot request forms for the General Election

Example of the front of the Official State of Iowa Absentee Ballot Request Form being sent out in September.

Tama County Auditor, Laura Kopsa, would like the voters of Tama County to know that they may be receiving multiple absentee ballot request forms from multiple sources.

To date, the county election office is aware of request forms originating from the Center for Voter Information and the Republican Party of Iowa.

The Iowa Secretary of State plans to send forms out in early September, just like they did for the primary election in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional mailings can be expected from political parties and possibly other organizations.

The Tama County Auditor’s office will only send out a request if the voter requests one from their office. Only one completed form needs to be sent in for a voter to receive a ballot in the mail. No matter how many requests the office receives for a voter, only ONE ballot will be mailed out to them. Ballots will be mailed out October 5th and after.

The last day to request an absentee ballot by mail is October 24th. Voters may vote in the Auditor’s office in person on October 5th and after also. The last day to vote in the office is Monday November 2nd. Voters can also still vote at the polls on election day.

Example of the back of the Official State of Iowa Absentee Ballot Request Form being sent out in September.

There are two polling places that will not be open on election day due to the inability to staff them. Those are Grant and Lincoln. Please contact the Auditor’s office or watch the local papers or the Auditor’s facebook page to see where those voters will go to vote on election day.

Auditor’s Office 641-484-2740 or lkopsa@tamacounty.org

Update from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, September 4

DES MOINES – Iowans will begin receiving absentee ballot request forms from the Secretary of State’s Office this weekend. Secretary Paul Pate is sending the forms statewide to active registered voters ahead of the November general election to encourage social distancing at polling places during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Iowans have options about how they choose to cast their vote,” Secretary Pate said. “You can vote from home, you can vote in-person at your county auditor’s office, or at the polls on Election Day. The key is we want every eligible Iowan to participate and to be safe while voting.”

The forms include pre-paid, first class mail postage and an envelope to return the request form to the voter’s county auditor. Secretary Pate’s statewide mailing of absentee ballot request forms in the June primary resulted in record-high voter participation of more than 530,000 Iowans.

Many voters have already received absentee request forms for the November general election from county auditors, political parties and other groups. You only need to send in one form, unless you returned a mailing sent by your county auditor in Linn and Woodbury counties. Judicial rulings have invalidated forms that were pre-filled by those auditors. A hearing on a similar mailing sent by the Johnson County auditor is scheduled for Wednesday, September 9.

“For those voters in Linn and Woodbury counties, if you returned a pre-filled absentee request form from your county auditor, I encourage you to fill out this official form and return it,” Secretary Pate said. “Unfortunately, we had a few county auditors who made reckless decisions that have confused voters and possibly disenfranchised them. This mailing from my office will help ensure those Iowans receive ballots and are able to vote.”

The mailing from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office includes information about how to vote absentee or on Election Day. County auditors will begin mailing ballots on October 5. Ballot request forms must be received no later than Saturday, October 24 at 5 p.m. Iowans can track that status of their absentee ballot at this link.