Active Iowa voters will receive absentee ballot request forms by mail

    Calling Iowa’s new election law “a cynical manipulation of the electoral process,” a group of Latin American citizens is suing the state. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Every active registered voter in the state — about 2 million of them — will receive an absentee ballot request form in the mail ahead of the June 2 primary, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced Tuesday.

    Pate encouraged Iowans to vote by mail in the June 2 primary to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19.

    “The safety of voters while casting their ballots is our top priority,” Pate said in a news release. “The June 2 primary election will go on as scheduled because it’s important for Iowans to make their voices heard by voting. The safest way to vote will be by mail.”

    The forms will include prepaid postage for return mailing to county auditors. Iowans can request absentee ballots now through May 22. County auditors begin mailing ballots on April 23. The secretary of state’s office announced last week that it was expanding the mail-in voting period for the June primary to 40 days.

    Iowans can download a printable absentee ballot request form at this link.

    Pate advised that eligible Iowans who have not registered to vote or updated their registration should do so now to ensure the absentee ballot request form goes to the correct address. For the first time, Iowans who are 17 years old and will be 18 by Nov. 3 can vote in the June primary. Iowans can register to vote online or download a printable voter registration form at sos.iowa.gov/registertovote.

    Polling sites will be open for the June 2 primary election, the secretary of state’s office reported, but many will be combined with other precincts. Voters should check with their county auditor before going to the polls.

    Curbside voting is an option for Iowans with disabilities, those who might have trouble entering a polling place, and Iowans who are in the Center for Disease Control’s at-risk population for COVID-19, Pate’s office said.

    Kathie Obradovich
    Editor Kathie Obradovich has been covering Iowa government and politics for more than 30 years, most recently as political columnist and opinion editor for the Des Moines Register. She previously covered the Iowa Statehouse for 10 years for newspapers in Davenport, Waterloo, Sioux City, Mason City and Muscatine. She is a leading voice on Iowa politics and makes regular appearances on state, national and international news programs. She has led national-award-winning coverage of the Iowa Caucuses and the Register’s Iowa Poll.