MASON CITY, Iowa - The Iowa primary election is coming up on June 2, and county auditors are amping up their preparations to keep local voters safe.
With Secretary of State Paul Pate encouraging voters to vote absentee this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Cerro Gordo County Auditor Adam Wedmore's staff has been busy ahead of primary day.
"To date, our office has mailed out 2,863 absentee ballots already for this primary election. We've definitely surpassed our number of 255 from the 2016 primary election."
However, some just prefer the traditional way of voting in person, and Pate is wanting to provide some peace of mind for those who choose to do so.
Wedmore received a shipment of PPE designated for workers from Pate's office last Friday, consisting of masks and gloves, and has plenty of hand sanitizer on hand.
"We're routinely cleaning and disinfecting surfaces anything that will be touched, doorknobs, pens, surfaces. Voters can rest assure that surfaces and items that they touched will be cleaned."
In addition, plastic barriers will be set up between poll workers and voters to prevent transmission, the booths will be spaced out, and will include floor indicators showing proper distancing.
While there won't be enough PPE for voters to use, Wedmore is encouraging everyone to follow CDC recommendations and wear masks if possible.
"We'll have a process to make sure that we can verify the identity of the voter, to make sure that we're following voter ID laws in the state."
One change you'll also notice this year is that polling sites will be consolidated. In Mason City alone, there will be 5 designated sites, out of 10 total in the county.
The last day to request an absentee ballot is this Friday.