Melissa Wellhausen

Page County Auditor Melissa Wellhausen

(Clarinda) -- Over the years, the popularity of absentee voting has increased in KMAland.

With the municipal and school board elections combined for the first time in Iowa, county auditors are expecting another uptick in absentees. Absentee voting officially began Monday for the November 5th elections--otherwise known as Super Vote I. Page County Auditor Melissa Wellhausen tells KMA News her office anticipates a jump in both absentee voting, and the turnout at the polls.

"With several contested races in the county," said Wellhausen, " we are expecting a larger turnout. So, we have prepared for that, and ordered additional ballots. We are planning to have a few more poll workers at different locations just to be prepared if there's a higher volume of turnout."

Wellhausen says there's two ways to vote absentee--either in person at auditor's offices, or by mail.

"They can go onto our website, and find the absentee request form," said Wellhausen, "or, they can go to the (Iowa) Secretary of State's website, or as well, they can always call us, and we'll be more than happy to mail that to them, as well."

And, with the combined elections comes some slight changes in absentee deadlines.

"The election worry-free postmark date is Monday, October 21st," she said. "And, they can pre-register to vote in the election on that day. Another date to remember is Friday, October 25th--that is the last day they can request that an absentee ballot be mailed to them. We are open until 5 p.m. that day, so that gives voters a little bit of extra time. But, we do want voters to be aware of that, too, because it's a little bit of a different window that they've had.

"Then, as well, they can always vote in our office here anytime. The last day they can vote in person here in our office is Monday, November 4th. We will be open that day until 5 p.m.," Wellhausen added.

Wellhausen adds those waiting to vote on Election Day will have longer hours to choose from.

"With different city and school elections in the past," she said, "sometimes the window to vote has been a little bit shorter on Election Day. With this new change, and it going to a city-school election, the polls will actually be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. That will give voters a little bit longer the day of the election to vote at the polls."

Anyone with questions regarding absentee voting should contact Melissa Wellhausen's office at 712-542-3219, or your local county auditor's office.