Woodbury County officials prepare for Election Day

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Poll workers have been preparing for election day and some are already helping Siouxlanders cast their ballots early.

WOODBURY COUNTY, Iowa (KCAU) –It’s three weeks until Election Day. This year, voting has been underway for a while. Like many things in 2020, this year’s election is unique.

Poll workers have been preparing for Election Day and some are already helping Siouxlanders cast their ballots early.

Just like across the nation, the popularity of early voting is unavoidable here in Siouxland.

“I think we are going to be busier than we normally have been in the past. In the last election, it was busy, but this election I think will be more so, I think, because more people are getting out to vote,” said Margaret Fitch, a poll worker.

The facts support what Fitch said.

Woodbury County Commissioner of Elections Pat Gill said so far the county has received 18,000 requests for ballots.

“We have a steady stream of people coming in to vote early in-person, absentee. Anyone who votes early is part of the absentee process, so those ballots will be counted on Monday and Tuesday of Election Day,” said Gill.

Gill says 4,000 of those requests have already been returned. He expects about 24,000 absentee ballots by Election Day. Everyone must be counted, something easier said than done in a pandemic.

“For the absentee, we are trying to put together a place where we can kinda socially distance, it’s difficult to do in this environment but we will get it done,” said Gill.

Because of current public debate, Gill said he knows some people who have requested an absentee ballot may change their mind and decide to go to their polling place instead.

“They should take it with them to the polling place on Election Day if that is what they choose to do,” said Gill.

Gill said he has been working those one-of-kind election proceedings for months. Now, the work is paying off.

“Kinda anxious and you’re looking forward for it to be over but we’re still making preperations and things are still going pretty smoothly,” said Gill

“You need to be serious, everybody that is voting needs to be serious, this is not a joking matter and working isn’t a joking matter,” said Fitch.

Siouxlanders are also currently able to vote early in person at Long Lines Center. Those ballots will be counted on Monday and Tuesday of election week.

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