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Polls Could Be Busy With Iowa Early Voting Down

Iowans can register to vote today by bringing identification and proof of residency to their polling location. (Kelly Minars/Flickr)
Iowans can register to vote today by bringing identification and proof of residency to their polling location. (Kelly Minars/Flickr)
November 8, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa – Election Day is finally here, and the polls could be busier than some anticipated. That's because early voter turnout is down about seven percent in Iowa compared with the last presidential election.

Secretary of State Paul Pate said election officials still predict about 70 percent of registered voters will cast a ballot in this election. He recommends folks do some research before heading to their polling location.

"You can go online and look at the ballots so you know who all is on the ticket so you don't go in there feeling uncomfortable and saying, 'Hey, I don't know the judges' or 'I don't know this thing,'" he explained. "There are ways to do some research online and you might want to do that."

Election information is available online at SOS.Iowa.gov. Iowans can register to vote today by bringing identification and proof of residency to their polling location. Voters already registered do not need an ID to cast a ballot.

While at the polls, any kind of electioneering: wearing clothes advertising a candidate or a political button, or carrying signs at a polling place is against the law. And despite concerns in the national media about election security, Pate said voters can rest assured that Iowa's election system performs well.

"We've got 10,000 Iowans, your neighbors and mine, who are helping at these polling sites," he said. "They're Republican, Democrat, bipartisan. Transparency is there. We don't vote on the internet, it's paper ballot so we have a way to verify everything. We take this very, very seriously."

President of the League of Women Voters of Iowa Mary Rae Bragg said it's tremendously important that all eligible Iowans exercise their right to vote, despite the acrimonious nature of the presidential election. She said regardless of the outcome, it's critical that the country move forward together and get back to the business of good governance.

"We all have that responsibility to stop, take a deep breath and remember that in the end we are all Americans and we should all be on the same page, and that should be preserving our democracy," she said.

Polls remain open until 9 p.m.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IA