Iowa on track to set early voting midterm record

Tyler Kingkade

Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro announced Wednesday that Iowa is on track to set a record for early voting.

“Over the past seven days, county auditors have processed 83,921 absentee ballot requests bringing our statewide total to 173,243,” Mauro said. “Assuming we continue at even half that rate, early voting in Iowa will far exceed 2002 and 2006 totals.”

Although only 50,006 have actually been returned and recorded, as of Wednesday afternoon.

In contrast, 2006 saw 242,385 Iowans vote by absentee ballot and 2002 had 242,357 early voters.

The Secretary of State’s office said county auditors processed 24,690 absentee ballot requests on Tuesday alone. Four years ago, the busiest day of early voting was Sept. 25, when 13,905 requests were processed. It nearly beats the busiest day of the 2008 presidential election cycle when the busiest day of early voting was Nov. 3, when 25,924 requests were processed.

Democrats are leading Republicans in the early voting drive, with 90,363 requested and 29,418 recorded against Republican’s 54,221 requested and 13,311. Independents, the biggest voting block in Iowa, come in third with 28,556 requested and 7,246 turned in.

Early voting in Iowa began Sept. 23, and while it’s not the earliest in the nation, it is ahead of many other early voting states.

Satellite stations are being set up in many counties, but voters are able to cast their ballot by going to their county auditor’s office at any time. They can also visit, and both the Iowa Democratic Party and Republican Party of Iowa have set up their own sites.

Iowans are able to request a ballot by mail to either vote early in the district they currently live in, or in their hometown’s district. This allows students living in the dorms to vote in Ames or in their hometown elections.