Linn County residents were among the Iowans lining up this morning to cast their votes on the state’s first day of early voting. All voters, even those who’d requested absentee ballots, were allowed to vote after some confusion.
Linn County Auditor Joel Miller initially planned to turn away early voters who’d also requested absentee ballots, but Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz’s staff overruled that.
“They made a case that said I had to accept those people who wanted to vote, even though they signed an affidavit” that they hadn’t received an absentee ballot, Miller said.
“They’re allowed to do that,” said Schultz spokesman Chad Olsen. “It makes it a little harder for the auditor, to watch that they don’t return the absentee ballot after they’ve voted.”
The confusion stemmed from this year’s election calendar and an early-voting push by the parties. Absentee ballots went into the mail late Wednesday, meaning many early voters couldn’t truthfully sign the affidavit stating they hadn’t received another ballot.
“No one was turned away,” said Miller.
County Auditor Joel Miller said about 100 ballots had been cast by 10 a.m., two hours after doors opened. The line of people waiting to vote, which Miller said extended out the front door when polls opened, was down to about 20. Sixteen polling stations are set up in the auditor’s office on the second floor.
More than 200 had voted by mid-afternoon.