The League of Women Voters would like to encourage a greater participation by voters in the upcoming election of school board members. It is encouraging to see a larger number of citizens campaigning to serve their community on the school board. It would be even more encouraging to double the number of voters casting ballots on Tuesday.
To make voting a little easier, we would like to inform voters that the polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday. If you usually vote before work, you need to remember to vote after work or better yet, vote early. You have two options to vote early: you can complete a written request for an absentee ballot. Once the auditor's office receives it, they will mail you a ballot. This early voting method is available for all elections but is especially helpful when the hours for school board elections are different than usual. Voters can vote early at the auditor's office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and shortened hours on Election Day from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
A photo ID is required in Iowa for citizens who register at the polls on Election Day. Proof of residence is also required such as a rent receipt, check stub or utility bill with your name and address on it. When poll workers ask if you want to scan your driver's license, they are not asking you for an ID. They are asking to scan the bar code on the back of your license. That bar code is read by the poll workers' computer. This was designed to make your check in process faster and more accurate. The poll worker will scan your license if you ask them to. You may also use your voter registration card issued when you first registered to vote. Some of the earlier voter registration cards do not have the bar code, so you will have to tell the poll worker the relevant information.
Only Precincts 1 through 10 have the scanners. In other precincts, you will give your information as you have always done.
If you have moved or married since the last election, you will need to update your voter registration information. You may do this either at the polls or at the auditor's office in the courthouse. You will need an ID showing the name change and/or a utility bill from your current residence showing your new address. This updating process will not take long at either the auditor's office or at the polls.
League hopes all registered voters will become informed about the candidates for school board by watching Thursday's League-sponsored forum at 1:30 p.m. Monday on GOTV.
Bev Ver Steegh is the president of the League of Women Voters in Ottumwa.