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Woodbury County officials discuss changes in voting legislation for the upcoming elections

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV)- October is National Voter Registration Month, and although it's not a presidential election year, there are still local and state elections taking place in November.

In Siouxland, Woodbury County is preparing for local and school elections set for November 3rd.
The best way to prepare is to make sure you are registered to vote and to educate yourself on any changes made since the 2020 election.

"As far as voter registration goes, there are not that many changes that took place. You have to be registered 15 days before an election, it used to be 10 days. Same-day registration is still in effect so that if you want to show up at the polling place and you haven't registered to vote, you will have to prove identity and residency at that time," said Patrick Gill, Woodbury County Auditor and Elections Commissioner.

Although there have only been minor changes to how you register to vote in Iowa, there are several other changes regarding how and when you can vote in this year's election.

Leaders at the Woodbury County Courthouse are already preparing for this year's local elections.
After the 2020 elections, new legislation was passed in Iowa that affects who can vote, where to vote, and how Iowans are allowed to vote. The biggest change in Woodbury County is the new legislation regarding Absentee Ballots.

"The legislature has seen fit, to not allow me to mail our absentee request forms, as we used to do for several years. We are just concerned that a lot of people that have voted early before using absentee, they are not going to be able to do that this time," said Gill.

Another change regarding Absentee Ballots this election year is voters must request to receive one.

"Absentee request forms, now the voter has to request it from us in order for us to send them one. It has to be the individual voter that does that to make a request from our office," said Gill.

Absentee Ballots will be mailed to voters starting October 13th, the same day early voting begins in Woodbury County.
Gill encourages Siouxlanders to fill out the form early, to allow plenty of time to mail it back in before election day.
Another major change is the use of drop boxes.

"We will have one dropbox, that is a change too. We used to have one in front of the courthouse for people to walk up to, and then we had one in the alley behind the courthouse for drive up. That will be available," said Gill.

In order for ballots to count from the dropbox, they need to be in before polls close on Election Day.
Gill says it's important to remember the deadlines and stay up-to-date on new voter information prior to the election, to make sure you're prepared.

Satellite voting will not be available this year in Woodbury County as well unless a petition with at least 100 signatures is signed and approved prior to the early voting period. Gill said some important dates to remember moving forward are October 13th, when early voting becomes available in Woodbury County, and November 2nd when the elections for city officials and the school board take place.

For more information on voter registration and absentee ballots follow the links below:

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Hailey Barrus

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