Confusing is how I would describe the election cycle of 2020. Every day across Iowa, auditors are receiving phone calls from voters who are confused by everything from absentee ballot requests, voting on election day, voting by mail, absentee voting in-person, and lawsuits. Add to this, auditors are having to constantly adjust how elections are administered with long-standing administrative rules being changed along with the issuance of emergency directives. There are many unknowns for us at a time when we typically know exactly how everything will be handled.
One of the most frequent calls we are receiving involves the continuous mailing of absentee ballot requests to households. Voters started receiving them as early as July 5 in their mailbox, and some were quick to complete and return those to the auditor. A few weeks later, they were surprised when they received more requests, especially last week when they also received the one from Secretary of State Paul Pate. Voters began worrying whether or not their first absentee ballot request actually made it to our office. Thus, the phone calls.