MASON CITY, Iowa - A record number of ballots will be sent through the mail this election year. As of this afternoon, Cerro Gordo County alone had nearly 7,500 requests for absentee ballots. That's nearly 18% of the population.
It will be a big job for the U.S. Postal Service to make sure the ballots arrive on time and county officials will be staying vigilant to protect those votes.
"I'm going to vote in person, but I'm voting early, because we're leaving for the winter," said Shirley Krutsinger. Her confidence in mail-in voting is pretty low.
"I don't trust the mail. I want to make sure I drop it myself in person. That's why we waited. We were going to leave a couple of weeks ago, but we waited until we could vote," she said.
Just yesterday, the postal service released a fact sheet, detailing their plans for handling election mail. Ballots will be treated the same as first-class letters. They'll be adding extra transportation to handle the increased volume. USPS is increasing pickup and delivery of mail. Postal employees are also going to be working some overtime.
Voter John Garcia says he plans on voting by mail this election.
"I think it's less hassle. Less hassle and plus the virus and everything," said Garcia.
He's not worried about his ballot making it to the county auditor's office by election day.
Cerro Gordo County Auditor Adam Wedmore assures voters election officials will work hard to protect the integrity of the November election. He explains what would happen if a fraudulent ballot is found.
"We start the investigation through our office and we work to determine all the facts of the situation, pull all the records that we have and at that point in time we will decide if this is truly a case of potential voter fraud."
Early voting is well underway in Minnesota, but it won't start in Iowa until this Monday.