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Pottawattamie County early vote already exceeds 2016, 2018
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Pottawattamie County early vote already exceeds 2016, 2018

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Early voting ends in Pottawattamie County on Monday, and turnout has already exceeded the previous two elections.

As of Friday morning, 24,298 voters had cast their ballot in the county, according to Pottawattamie County Auditor's Office Elections Deputy Kristi Everett. That total includes returned absentee ballots and residents who stopped by the elections building at 508 S. Sixth St. to vote early in person.

That number has already grown, with steady lines at the early voting building on Friday and today. Early voting runs until 5 p.m. today and resumes Monday morning.

And it bests early turnout the previous two election cycles -- in 2018, there were 15,050 absentee requests and 14,064 early votes. Total voter turnout, early and Election Day combined, was 34,332.

And in 2016, there were 18,874 absentee requests and 18,025 early votes. The vote total that year was 43,058.

The 2020 primary, which was open to party voters only, saw turnout of about 14,000 -- 22% of the county's then-total of registered voters, 63,757, per Everett at the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors meeting canvassing the election.

There were 2,660 requested ballots still out, Everett said. Voters can turn in their absentee ballots at the drop box in front of the Courthouse, 227 S. Sixth St., or at the auditor's office inside the Courthouse until 9 p.m. on Election Day, which is Tuesday. Voters can also turn it in at the elections building until 4:30 p.m. on Monday. Monday is the final day of early voter, with the office open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

On Election Day, voters can also take the ballot to their polling site, where they'll surrender the ballot and officials will issue a new one -- it's the same ballot of candidates, Everett noted.

If mailed, Everett said the county has intelligent mail barcode tracing on the enveloped.

"It's traced once it gets to the post office," she said. "Once it’s in the post office, it’s in the system. We’ll get a report."

The barcode must be dated to Monday at the latest to be accepted, Everett said.

"Any ballots we receive after Election Day, we'll go back and see if it was in the system by Monday," the elections deputy said.

Iowa Secretary of State's Office shows as of October, there are now 65,460 registered voters in the county.

Breaking down the numbers further:

24,910 registered Republican voters, including 23,296 active and 1,614 inactive

20,836 registered no party voters, including 18,198 active and 2,638 active

18,916 registered Democratic voters, including 17,251 active and 1,665 inactive

798 registered voters listed as "other" by the Secretary of State's Office, which does not have breakouts for the Libertarian, Green and other parties; includes 693 active and 105 inactive

The Secretary of State defines "inactive" voters as people who have not responded to notices from the office.

Per state law, the auditor's office can start tabulating the early vote on Monday.

Everett said she expects the county and local state races to have unofficial results on Tuesday night. As usual, the Supervisors and Everett will then certify the election in the days afterward.

Nationwide, with the volume of mail vote, it's possible the results of the presidential race -- and possibly other federal government races -- won't be known by Tuesday night.

Statewide early vote

Statewide, Iowa Secretary of State's Office said Saturday there have been 924,533 absentee votes. That includes 428,833 votes by Democrats, 305,176 by Republicans, 186,377 by no party voters and 4,147 by voters from other parties.

In the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Council Bluffs and much of southwest Iowa -- along with Des Moines -- there have been 74,341 Republican votes, 117,397 Democratic votes, 50,715 no party votes and 1,063 by other parties.

Local and statewide races

As previously reported by the Nonpareil:

Two seats are are available on the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors, with incumbent Republican Tim Wichman looking to retain his position. He’s joined on the ballot by three challengers — Democrats Lisa Lima and Fran Parr and Republican Brian Shea.

Wichman and Shea advanced past the contest June primary.

In Iowa Senate District 8, which includes Carter Lake and the majority of Council Bluffs, Republican Sen. Dan Dawson takes on Democrat Steve Gorman.

In the Iowa House, Rep. Charlie McConkey, a Democrat, looks to retain his seat against Republican challenger Sarah Abdouch. District 15 includes Carter Lake and northwest Council Bluffs.

Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa, R-16, is retiring after five terms and 10 years in the House. Republican Brent Siegrist, Democrat Jen Pellant and Libertarian Robert Fairchild are vying for the seat. The 16th District includes southwest and north-central Council Bluffs.

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In House District 22, Rep. Jon Jacobsen faces Democrat Shawna Anderson. The district includes eastern Council Bluffs and the rest of Pottawattamie County.

At the county level, Auditor Melvyn Houser and sheriff candidate Andy Brown, both Republicans, are running unopposed in the general election.

There is no publicly-available polling data for the county and local state races.

On election night, the auditor's office will not be open to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The space is usually a gathering spot for candidates, supporters and other interested parties.

Election results will be posted to the auditor's website, elections.pottcounty-ia.gov.

Statewide, Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Red Oak is seeking a second term against Democrat Theresa Greenfield of Des Moines.

And In Iowa's 3rd Congressional District, which includes Council Bluffs and much of southwest Iowa, Democrat Rep. Cindy Axne of Des Moines seeks a second term, facing Republican David Young of Van Meter, who held the seat for two terms ahead of Axne, and Libertarian Bryan Jack Holder of Council Bluffs.

Pottawattamie County polling sites

Polling sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3.

For more information, including precinct maps, go to elections.pottcounty-ia.gov.

Council Bluffs:

Precincts 6, 7 and 11 — Abraham Lincoln High School, 1205 Bonham St.

Precincts 8 and 9 — City Light Church, 2109 Railroad Highway

Precincts 13, 14 and 15 — Council Bluffs Public Library, Meeting Room B, 400 Willow Ave.

Precincts 1 through 5 — Epworth Methodist Church, 2447 Ave. B.

Precincts 19, 20 and 21 — Gethsemane Presbyterian Church, 224 Wallace Ave.

Precincts 10A and 10B and Garner Township — New Horizon Presbyterian Church, 30 Valley View Drive.

Precinct 12 — Creekside Church, 3320 Harry Langdon Blvd.

Precincts 16 and 17 — Queen of Apostles Church, 3304 Fourth Ave.

Precinct 18 — Emanuel Church of the Nazarene, 2309 S. 13th St.

Lewis Township Precinct 1 — First Christian Church, 20794 Highway 92, Council Bluffs.

Lewis Township Precinct 2 — Salem Methodist Church, 14995 Somerset Ave., Council Bluffs.

Avoca and Hancock — Avoca American Legion, 112 N. Elm St.

Carter Lake Precincts 1 and 2 — City Hall, 950 E. Locust St.

Oakland and GLWCW — Oakland Community Center, 614 Dr. Van Zee Road, Oakland.

Underwood and McClelland — UMBA Hall, 300 Second Ave., Underwood.

Carson — Carson Carson Community Center, 316 S. Commercial St.

Crescent — Crescent Elementary School, 401 E. Welch St.

Macedonia — DeWitt Community Center, 404 Potter St., Macedonia.

Minden — Minden United Church of Christ, 106 Lincoln St.

Neola — Neola Community Center, 110 Fourth St.

Treynor — Treynor Community Center, 13 W. Main St.

Walnut — Walnut Public Library, 229 Antique City Drive.

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