Voters raise question about absentee ballot request form

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

Last week, all Iowa registered voters received an absentee ballot request form from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office. The mailing confused some voters who have already applied directly to their county auditor for an absentee ballot. Should they complete the form sent by the Secretary of State or wait for a mailing from the local auditor’s office?

“We have been receiving numerous inquiries as to whether or not a voter has to submit an additional absentee ballot request form if they have already done so,” said Clayton County Auditor Jennifer Garms. “The answer is no.”

According to Garms, a voter only needs to submit one request form to be placed in the queue to receive a ballot. The ballots will be mailed out on Monday, Oct. 5, for domestic voters. Any additional forms are marked duplicate and filed away. Voters are only allowed one ballot and the system does not allow for more than one to be entered.

Along with the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office, Garms said several other entities have also sent out absentee ballot request forms. The forms might keep coming even if you’ve already requested an absentee ballot.

“These entities do not have access to our system which notes whether a request has been submitted,” she explained.

The Clayton County Auditor’s Office did not send any request forms to voters unless they were requested by the voter.

Voters can contact the Clayton County Auditor’s Office at (563) 245-1106 to see if their request has been entered or they can check online using the “Track Your Absentee Ballot” feature at https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/absenteeballotstatus/absentee/search. Odds are that it was submitted, noted Garms. If a voter submitted a request that was insufficient (lacking date of birth, ID number, signature, etc.), she said her office will contact the voter directly to cure the request.

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