PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


PNS Daily Newscast - January 26, 2021 

LGBTQ+ groups celebrate President Joe Biden's reversal of Trump ban on transgender people in the military; Articles of Impeachment delivered -- Trump first President impeached twice.

2020Talks - January 26, 2021 

Senate prepares for impeachment trial; SCOTUS ends emolument suits against Trump, but Guiliani faces new liability. SecTreas Yellen confirmed, Huckabee announces AR gubernatorial run as other GOP Senators step down. Transgender people back in the military and Biden unveils his "Buy American" plan while First Lady gets active; and Harriet Tubman may become first Black American on U.S. currency.

Will Drive-Through Voting Stick? One IA Official Hopes So

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

In addition to Johnson County, Iowa's Linn County also offered the option for people to vote from their cars in 2020. (Adobe Stock)
In addition to Johnson County, Iowa's Linn County also offered the option for people to vote from their cars in 2020. (Adobe Stock)
November 18, 2020

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The 2020 election saw many voters cast their ballots in ways much different than they're used to. The pandemic resulted in a surge in absentee voting by mail, but drive-through voting also surfaced -- and one Iowa official believes it has staying power.

Johnson County Auditor Travis Weipert said he was floored when people asked to bring the option back for future elections. Weipert said he thought it was just a "one-and-done" deal because of the crisis and concerns about voting in person.

"I have received so many 'thank yous'," he said, "and letters of, 'You're going to continue the drive-through voting, right?'"

His office said 18,000 Johnson County residents took advantage of drive-through voting this fall. Weipert said he wants to make it a permanent part of the voting process in his county, but other auditors say not all jurisdictions will have the resources to pull it off, even if voters demand it.

Johnson County was able to make use of a parking garage at the Health and Human Services Building in Iowa City. Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz, who also is president of the Iowa State Association of County Auditors, credited Weipert's work to make voting more accessible. However, she said, she thinks logistics will make it harder for the option to catch on throughout the state.

"Of course, you'd have to have enough staff to be able to do that," she said, "and you'd have to have a venue, such as what he had, to be able to do that."

Drive-through voting is seen as an extension of curbside voting. Most curbside programs were intended to help those with difficulty entering a polling place because of a disability, but states such as Iowa expanded the service this year for anyone deemed at high risk for COVID-19.

As for absentee voting, Weipert said he believes people who tried it for the first time this year will do so again -- not only for the convenience, but because it also helps them become more informed voters.

"The other thing I hear from voters," he said, "is, 'It gives me a chance to look up the judges and other candidates I knew nothing about, and actually vote on that race.'"

The secretary of state has said more than 1 million Iowans requested absentee ballots for the November election, a state record.


Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - IA