More than a half-million Iowans have requested an absentee ballot – which is five times as many as at this point in the 2016 election.
Iowa’s secretary of state is asking a legislative panel to approve more changes to accommodate counting the huge increase of mailed-in ballots.
Absentee ballots are placed inside a “secrecy” envelope and that envelope gets inserted into another envelope for mailing.
According to a draft memo, Secretary of State Paul Pate will ask the Legislative Council to give county election officials authority to start opening those outer envelopes on October 31st.
Pate also plans to ask lawmakers for permission to approve the relocation of precinct voting sites on his own, plus he’s asking legislators to okay letting I-D cards that expired this year be used as a form of voter I-D on Election Day.
Due to the pandemic, some Iowans haven’t been able to renew their licenses or get an ID card at the DOT this year.
The Council is scheduled to meet Friday to vote on Pate’s requests.