Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Voters will begin casting their ballots Thursday as the first day of early voting unfolds across Iowa.
"All of the 99 county auditor's offices are open today for regular business hours and there's also some counties like Johnson County who are having a satellite place already open today," Linn County Auditor Joel Miller said.
Iowa is the first "swing" state to open the polls. The Linn County election crew has been working hard to prepare.
"You can show up in our office today at 8:00 a.m. and cast your ballot for the November election," Miller said.
Voters simply request an absentee ballot at any county auditor's office, make your candidate selections and go on your way.
Parties are pushing for people to get out and vote ahead of Election Day. Some people are taking advantage of one benefit of voting early.
"The word is getting out that I think if you vote early, the chances are you might get taken off the list and you won't be getting that phone call," Linn County Deputy Commissioner of Elections Tim Box said.
"We were getting feedback that that was part of the case. But I think that a lot of people on the ground for parties and issues are going door to door and encouraging people to submit a request."
Thursday is also the first day people will get a delivery from the auditor's office.
"I did stop at the post office this (Thursday) morning to confirm at 4:00 a.m. that they had processed their mail and everyone in Linn County should receive their ballot today (Thursday)," Miller said.
Soon, voting locations will also open up across Linn County.
"We'll start our first satellite location at the Hy-Vee on 1st Avenue, that will be the first weekend in October," Miller said.
Absentee voting has been a popular choice, Election officials in Linn County said. Their office has already received about 7,000 more requests for absentee ballots than during the 2008 election.
The start of early voting marks exactly 40 days until the election.