Letter to the Editor: Practice social distancing, vote absentee!

To the Editor:

I believe that by now, all registered voters in Iowa have received an absentee voter request form in the mail. Please consider using it, and not just because of COVID-19.

Voting from home allows you to carefully consider the candidates and any referenda that may be on the ballot. It assures that whatever happens on election day, your vote is already in.

If you haven’t gotten the mailing yet, you might want to call the Auditor’s office and make sure you are registered, or, if you know you’re not registered, get that done. You don’t want to miss out on choosing our politicians!

You may be one of those people who are skeptical about the privacy of absentee ballots. Let me assure you, as someone who has been on the Absentee Board, on and off, since Billy Roe, Jr. was Auditor, that your ballot is sacred and secret.

Yes, you must sign the affidavit envelope, and, yes, we check each and every signature - although some of those signatures are impossible to read. There is method to this madness.

On election day, the Auditor’s office generates a report of all absentee requests mailed out and returned. The Absentee Board first counts all the unopened affidavits to verify the count, then checks the signatures against the report. Only then are the affidavit envelopes opened, and the secrecy envelopes removed. The envelopes are put away in a box before the secrecy envelopes are opened and the ballots removed.

At no time has anyone I’ve ever worked with not followed this protocol. We, as the Absentee and Resolution Board, take an oath to protect the integrity of the election and I am proud to say your secret ballot is just that, secret.

Our ability to vote by absentee ballot is being threatened, and we need to show our politicians that they can’t take it away, but should expand it instead. So, pull that request form out of the wastebasket, fill it out and mail it in.

Ann Klees
Waterville

 

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