OTTUMWA — The phone has been ringing off the hook in Wapello County Auditor Kelly Spurgeon’s office.

And, like it was a month ago, most calls concern absentee ballot request forms.

Spurgeon reiterated Wednesday that voters who plan to vote by mail need only to submit one absentee ballot request form.

Though the political parties and other entities with access to voter lists send out their own and can create confusion, and the Iowa Secretary of State will send its requests next week, it is important to send just one to alleviate the crush of duplicate request forms.

“We’re starting to enter them into our I-Voter system, and those who have can start to check the Secretary of State’s website next week to know their request has been received,” Spurgeon said. “We’re probably going to have 3,000 requests or better.”

A major issue concerning voters is request forms that have been prefilled with too much personal information, Spurgeon said. At least 64,000 request forms in Linn and Woodbury counties were thrown out by district court judges in a lawsuit by the Trump administration for that reason, though the Iowa Democratic Party, as well as the Democratic Senate and House campaign committees filed petitions Monday to challenge the constitutionality of the ruling.

Still, Spurgeon said that doesn’t matter in Wapello County.

“It only matters if Wapello County was involved in the lawsuit,” she said. “If nothing else, we still have blank forms on our website.”

To receive a ballot in the mail, an absentee ballot request must be received by 5 p.m. on the Friday 10 days before the general election, and include the following information: name, date of birth, drivers license number or four-digit voter registration PIN, an address (if different than the mailing address on file), the type of election, and a signature.

The county will begin sending ballots Oct. 5, which is the first day of in-person voting.

So far, Spurgeon estimated the auditor’s office has processed 300 request forms, but had yet to complete two precincts.

Chad Drury can be reached at, and on Twitter @ChadDrury


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