Make your voice heard

With so much attention on the 2016 presidential race, the upcoming Iowa primary elections may be overshadowed.

Those who do go out and cast their vote in Marshall County on Tuesday will have eight races to consider on their ballots, including U.S. Congress and Senate candidates, state legislature contenders and county seat hopefuls.

“Voters must be in their precinct when they vote,” said Marshall County Auditor and Recorder Deanne Raymond. She added that votes must be cast between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday at the courthouse.

“We need everyone who comes to vote to bring an ID,” she said. “That ID must have a picture of you and an expiration date.”

Driver’s licenses and permits, as well as passports, are examples of identification voters can bring.

Additionally, primary voters must be at least 18 years old by the general election on Nov. 8. In the primary, a voter must identify as a Republican or Democrat if they are not already registered with a party.

“Once they declare, that will go on our records,” Raymond said. “If a Democrat decided he or she wants to vote for a Republican, they can write in the name of their preferred candidate on their Democrat ballot.”

That is, anyone’s name can be written-in on any ballot, regardless of party affiliation. However, that vote will go on the books as the party who’s ballot was used in the vote.

After election day, all voters will be sent a registration card by Raymond’s office where they can return to or remain in whatever party they choose.

“Your vote counts, and goes to the person you choose or write in and choose,” she said. “It doesn’t change anything about who the vote goes to, just whether it comes from a Republican or Democrat ballot.”

Raymond also said this year’s precinct officials will use slightly different methods for registration, confirmation and printing information.

“You will first go up to a precinct official and give your information, then they’ll look you up and have you give a correct address and date of birth, and then you get access to the ballot,” Raymond said.

Laser printers have been added to the process of vote recording in this election. Raymond said they had been successfully used in State Center and Marshalltown during the previous election cycle.

If someone comes in and is not registered with either party, they will go through same-day registration, which Raymond said means choosing one party’s ballot or the other’s. Again, identification and information is needed for same-day registration.

“One of the most common mistakes I see is people brining in expired ID’s,” she said. “We do not have a 30-day grace period for that, your ID must be valid on the day of the election.”

Absentee ballots can no longer be sent in to the courthouse to be counted, but absentee voters do have a last-minute option.

Those who still want to vote absentee must come in person today to the auditor and recorder’s office in the courthouse between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and vote.

The Democrat primary ballot has 12 total candidates with three races having more than one primary candidate. The Republican ballot has eight total candidates with only the Marshall County Supervisor race having more than one declared candidate.

Raymond said she wants to see good voter turnout for the primary, which is generally not as well-attended as a general election.

“We want people to come out and vote,” Raymond said. “We don’t care who you vote for, but come out and vote!”

Additional information on voting can be found at:

Marshall County website: www.co.marshall.ia.us/departments/auditor/election

Iowa Secretary of State website:

sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterinformation/primaryelection2016.html