Voters are receiving absentee ballot request forms from a variety of sources, in fact in our Saturday office mail there were eight different types of request forms that voters had submitted to us!

So, let’s get down to what matters:

1. The Auditor’s Office only needs one request form per voter. Returning multiple request forms increases our administrative time and takes away from other essential duties. We must check each and every request form against our data base to determine if it is a duplicate request, and if so to make sure the address for the voter is the same as the first form we received.

2. No matter how many forms you submit, we are only going to mail you one ballot!

3. As in past elections various organizations, political parties, and candidates, are sending these forms to voters as a way to encourage voters to participate in the election — this is not unique to 2020. This year, however, the Iowa Secretary of State/State Commissioner of Elections is also mailing a request form to every registered voter in Iowa due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Jones County Auditor’s Office only mails request forms to voters if the voter specifically asks us to.

4. These forms are only “request forms” for us to mail you a ballot. These forms are not ballots (see number 5 below)!

5. Beginning Monday, Oct. 5, county auditors across Iowa will mail ballots to voters with valid requests on file in their respective county. We will be mailing ballots daily after that as request forms are submitted. We must mail your ballot to you within twenty-four hours of receiving your request form (beginning Oct. 5) By law, our active-duty military and overseas voters will be receiving their ballots in mid-September.

6. If you want to vote early from home, seasonal vacation spot, etc., get your ballot request form in early! We cannot mail ballots to voters after Oct. 24. If you wait too long, your only remaining options are to vote early in person at the Courthouse or go to the polls on Election Day.

7. If you are planning to vote in person, either at the polls or before election day at the Courthouse, then please don’t submit a form for us to mail you a ballot. This will only add to delays and frustration for you at the polls as our precinct officials take the necessary steps to make sure your absentee ballot wasn’t already received and that you don’t cast more than one ballot.

8. All eight polling places in Jones County will be open on Election Day for those who want to vote in person. In-person absentee voting will be available in the basement of the Jones County Courthouse beginning Monday, Oct. 5, through Monday, Nov. 2, with Saturday hours available on Oct. 24 and Oct. 31.

9. Jones County voters’ absentee request forms are not impacted by the litigation in Johnson, Linn, and Woodbury counties.

10. Finally, be sure to fill out all the items on the form marked as required and SIGN the request form. Your ID number is your Iowa Drivers’ License or Non-Operator ID. If you don’t have a valid Iowa Drivers’ License or Non-operator ID and don’t know your 4-digit Voter ID PIN, then call the Auditor’s Office, and we will assist you after verifying some basic information. Failure to follow these important steps will require us to contact you and delay the issuance of your ballot.

Voters can track the status of their ballot request at https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/absenteeballotstatus/absentee/search

This tracking site is updated daily (overnight). If you think you sent a form in already but aren’t sure, this is the website to check on, or call our office.

More questions? We’re here to help. Contact the Jones County Auditor’s Office at 319 462-2282 or by email at auditor@co.jones.ia.us.

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