SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — “The state is putting people in a bind. These legislatures didn’t think about it when they did this.”
Gregg Cormany is a disabled veteran who planned to cast his ballot in the 2021 City Council Election.
But on Thursday of this week, Cormany received a notification by mail, letting him know he needed to submit a request form for an absentee ballot and have it sent back to the city courthouse, all by Monday night.
“I work on 100% VA disability and in order for me to go somewhere, I have to pack up my oxygen and all my other good stuff, I don’t walk fast, it’s just a pain,” Cormany said.
With the new restrictions and mailing times, he says he doesn’t have near enough time to get his documents to the courthouse. Typically provisions would allow someone else to pick up and drop off the form for him. An extra step he says he doesn’t believe he should have to go through
“I’m not going to make them go down and make them take out their time of their day to go get me something I shouldn’t have this much trouble to get,” Cormany said.
The new rules have even prompted long-time Sioux City Auditor Pat Gill to make some adjustments in his practice. The change in rules is partially to blame for the late courtesy reminder and for Cormany, not yet having his ballot in hand.
“They outlawed a practice that I have been doing for years and that was mailing absentee ballot request forms to the voters to notify them that there was an election coming up. Why the legislature outlawed that, I don’t really know, we’ve lobbied it and talked about its large impact on the disabled community,” Gill said.
Though Gill doesn’t agree with the new restrictions, Jim Carlin, a state senator who voted in favor of this legislation, says there’s a reason these rules are in place
“Just so there’s no concerns of tampering or ballot stuffing or anything like that,” Carlin said.
But Cormany says he personally feels suppressed rather than protected.
“I know it’s hard for the disabled community, but there are provisions in place for that,” he sai.
Cormany believes this won’t be a recurring issue, but to him, that’s not the problem.
‘This might only affect one election, but one is one and an election is an election. Everybody has the right to vote. Everybody has the right to an absentee ballot.”
Absentee requests needed to be submitted by Monday at 5 p.m. in order to receive a ballot for this upcoming election.