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***Rumors are swirling Iowa about polling location closures and changes. We’ve contacted the county auditors in Iowa to find out what is actually happening in their county.***

Eric Van Lancker said he has been telling voters the last two weeks to please set aside time to vote on Tuesday.

“Like actually schedule an amount of time that is longer than what it takes you to vote,” he said. “It may take longer than usual.”

Clinton County, where Van Lancker serves as auditor, will have 17 polling locations open compared to its traditional 26. The decline is based on a lack of poll workers as well as combining a couple of physically smaller polling locations into larger locations to accommodate social distancing for poll workers and voters.

That number — 17 — has been set for several weeks, he said.

“Since then we have done a lot of voter outreach through the traditional media and social media to let voters know to check where they vote for this election,” Van Lancker said. “We’ve even paid for large ads in our local newspapers listing the polling locations.”

In addition, the mobile app “Where UVote — Clinton County” has more than 700 downloads. The county will also comply with state law, which states it must place a posting on a traditional polling site that isn’t used to inform voters where they need to vote instead.

While he currently has enough poll workers, he cited a recent surge in positive COVID cases as a concern.

“We have a backup list,” he said. “But it is not very long.”

With fewer voting locations, Van Lancker said there may be more voters there to vote than usual, which could cause lines. And, in Clinton County, about 75 percent of the poll workers are new.

“It will take them a little time to get up to speed,” he said. “And, finally, please be courteous and say thank you to your local poll workers. They will have a long day and we are thankful to all of them who stepped up to make democracy work in this time of pandemic.”

Voters can find their polling place at this website.

Iowans can sign up to be poll workers here.

Author: Jacob Hall


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