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State law brings change to polling locations

T-R FILE PHOTO The Marshalltown Public Library, shown here, will again serve Marshalltown’s First Ward voters in the upcoming local elections on Nov. 5.

The Nov. 5 local city and school election is fast approaching and a state law change means some can expect to vote at a new polling place.

That law, passed in 2017, set forth a wide array of voting system changes. One major change was combining the city and school elections, which used to be months apart. For the new combined election, Election Day voters will go to the polling places used during a general election year, the most recent of which was in November 2018.

“The Marshall County Auditor and Recorder’s office will mail new voter cards to all voters with a new polling location for their school or city precincts,” read a statement from the Marshall County Auditor and Recorder’s Office, which oversees local elections. “For voters whose school districts cross over county lines, you will now vote only in Marshall County at your normal general election polling location. You will not go into another county to vote.”

Such school districts include Baxter, BCLUW, Collins-Maxwell, Colo-Nesco, East Marshall, Eldora-New Providence, Gladbrook-Reinbeck, Green Mountain-Garwin and West Marshall.

Marshall County voters will see not only school board, community college district and city council candidates on their ballots, but also a $32 million Iowa Valley Community College District bond question.

Marshalltown School District voters will also decide on a revenue purpose statement for the district’s use of Secure and Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) 1-cent state sales tax funds for infrastructure projects.

Voter registration

September is National Voter Registration Month and eligible voters are encouraged to ensure they are registered for the Nov. 5 election.

There are a few ways a person can register. One option is to go to the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office website voter registration page. There, a link to the Iowa Department of Transportation website allows eligible citizens with an Iowa driver’s license or non-operator’s license to register to vote online.

Another option is to download and print out a voter registration form.

“If you don’t have an Iowa driver’s license or non-operator’s ID, there is a link to download the paper form that you can print out on your home printer and send in to your county auditor’s office,” said Iowa Secretary of State’s Office communications specialist Kristina Aleksander. “Basically, you just send it in to your county auditor’s office and they will process it for you.”

Iowans can also register to vote on Election Day. To do so, one must bring proof of both identification and residence.

Along with driver’s- and non-operator’s licenses, acceptable forms of identification include:

• A U.S. passport

• Military ID

• Out-of-state driver’s license or non-operator’s ID

• Employer ID card

• High school or college student ID card

• A tribal ID card.

If the document used to prove a voter’s identity does not also include a current address, acceptable proof of address can include:

• A residential lease

• Utility or cell phone bill

• Bank statement

• Paycheck

• Government document.

A third option for eligible voters without any of the above documentation is to have a voter from the same precinct attest to that eligible voter’s identity and residence. The attester and potential voter must then sign an oath. Falsely attesting or being attested for is a felony which can result in a fine and jail time.

Absentee voting

Voters still have several weeks to decide how they want to vote in the upcoming election. Those wanting to vote absentee can do so via mail-in ballot or in person at the Marshall County Auditor and Recorder’s Office, 101 E. Main St.

According to the secretary of state’s office, those looking to vote by mail-in absentee ballot should download, print and fill out an absentee ballot request form available at the office’s website.

Once filled out, the request form can be returned to the county auditor’s office, which will then mail the absentee voter the ballot along with instructions for filling it out and returning it to the auditor’s office.

Another option is to vote in-person absentee at the auditor and recorder’s office. Such voting is available up to 29 days prior to Election Day. In-person voters will fill out their ballots at the auditor’s office and will not be able to take them home.

For more information about getting registered to vote, visit https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterinformation/voterregistration.html.

For more on absentee voting, visit https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/electioninfo/absenteeinfo.html.

For questions about voting in Marshall County, call 641-754-6302 or visit http://www.co.marshall.ia.us/departments/auditor/election.

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Contact Adam Sodders at 641-753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com