MASON CITY, Iowa - Pandemic or not, elections are still going on as scheduled, so organizers are finding ways to keep people safe and healthy, while still protecting the right to vote.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is encouraging Iowans to vote in the June primary through absentee ballots, as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Request forms will soon be mailed out to all active registered voters, as well as being made available online.
While voters will continue to have the option to vote in-person, there are some measures in place to protect voters and poll workers.
"They have face masks and gloves and sanitizer. Our office has worked hand in hand with them to get those supplies. We're making sure those poll workers are protected, but also voters themselves. Absentee, voting by mail, is probably the best method."
And just like any other election, Pate's office is assuring the integrity of your vote, making sure it is not compromised.
"Those ballots, when they're mailed in, are handled as sensitive documents to make sure the secrecy of your vote is maintained."
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon recently introduced a similar plan, where each registered voter in the state would automatically get a ballot in the mail, and there would be a reduced number of polling places on Election Day.
The absentee voting period for Iowa begins Thursday, with Minnesota's absentee ballot period beginning June 26th.