Primary election is June 2
Crawford County Auditor Terri Martens encourages voters in the upcoming primary election to vote by mail during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want the citizens of Crawford County to stay safe and vote from home,” Martens said. “We will still have a precinct open on Election Day but we’re encouraging people to request an absentee ballot by mail, get it at your home where you can stay safe and still vote.”
Absentee ballots may be requested now.
Ballots will be mailed out to voters starting on April 23 and continuing through May 22.
Martens said her office is still unsure of how in-person voting at the counter in the auditor’s office will be handled.
In-person voting is scheduled to begin on May 4.
“We’re still working on that because the courthouse doors are locked to the public,” she said. “We will probably have to do something curbside for voters who want to try to vote in person. We’ll do it as contact-free as we can.”
In-person voting is not as safe as voting with an absentee ballot, she noted.
“We’re encouraging that request for a mailed ballot,” Martens said. “Let us get it into the mail to you as quickly as we can and you get it at home where you can be safe.”
Absentee ballots may be returned by mail or placed in the drop box on the east side of the courthouse.
Martens asked that individuals not put the ballots in the mailbox at the courthouse.
The drop box will be emptied periodically throughout the day and ballots will be taken to the auditor’s office, she said.
On primary election day, the one precinct that will be open in Denison will be at Boulders Conference Center.
“We will provide hand sanitizer,” Martens said. “People are free to use it and we will encourage them to use it. We’re also going to make the initial process of verifying identification contact-free.”
Voting at the precinct will take place with the county’s new touchscreen voting machines.
“We will have people there cleaning the screens after every voter,” Martens said. “The same with pens; we’ll have plenty of pens available and they will be used only once in that election.”
Used pens will be placed in a basket and sanitized after the election.
“We’ll have plenty of pens as long as we get a lot of people voting via absentee ballot prior to Election Day,” she said.
The office of the Iowa Secretary of State will send a mailing with an absentee ballot request form to all voters in Iowa next week.
The political parties and other groups may be sending ballot request forms, as well.
“People just need to fill out one per voter,” Martens said.
Primary voters must select a party on the ballot and it must be signed, she noted.
“You can vote but you have to pick a party to do that,” she said.
Information about the primary election and absentee ballot voting is available on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website; on the Crawford County, Iowa Election Facebook page; and on the Crawford County Auditor’s website at crawforcounty.org.
“Feel free to call if you have any questions,” Martens said.
The Crawford County auditor’s office phone number is 712-263-3045.