Tuesday, November 29, 2022


Connecting health outcomes to climate solutions and lower utility bills, Engagement Center finding success near Boston's troubled 'Mass and Cass' and more protections coming for PA Children's Service providers.


Georgia breaks a state record for early voting, Democrats are one step closer to codifying same-sex marriage, and Arizona county officials refuse to certify the results of the midterm elections.


A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

IA County Auditors: Plan Big, Plan Now for Primary Vote


Tuesday, May 10, 2022   

It's been a year since Iowa adopted sweeping election law changes. For those who haven't voted since then, local administrators say going in without a plan might bring some unwanted surprises for the June 7 primary.

Among the key changes is a shorter window for early in-person voting, which for this primary opens up on May 18.

Iowans also have less time to request and send in absentee ballots. Linn County Auditor Joel Miller said that's why people need to be thorough in filling out an absentee ballot.

He noted that with mail service not as speedy, fixing any mistakes won't be easy.

"Before, you used to have time to cure something," said Miller, "we could you send you a new application to fill out - but there's just not enough time. "

Miller said having an alternate plan can help voters overcome obstacles - including something non-election-related, such as a COVID-19 infection.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is May 23. The new rules say it has to be received no later than the end of Election Day, rather than just being postmarked ahead of time.

Ballots received the day after won't be counted.

Rules surrounding ballot drop boxes also were modified, and now Iowa counties are allowed to have one designated location - which has to be under video surveillance.

Louisa County Auditor Sandi Sturgell said that's a noteworthy change for a rural area like hers, and voters should research availability.

"We are not using that any longer," said Sturgell. "They have to bring it directly into our office, because we don't have the security that they require for the dropbox that we had always been able to use before, that's on the courthouse wall. So, please don't put your ballots in there."

In 2020, some counties used multiple drobox sites amid COVID concerns.

Brad Anderson, state director of AARP Iowa, said they hope the changes won't deter older voters in this year's midterms - and that they'll see participation just as strong as the energy from two years ago.

"While some of those measures, such as every voter getting an absentee ballot request form, are not happening this cycle," said Anderson, "we want to let voters know that they do have a lot of options."

Beyond absentee ballots and early in-person voting at your county auditor's office, there will still be polling sites on Election Day. However, those will now close an hour earlier, at 8 p.m.

Disclosure: AARP Iowa contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Community Issues and Volunteering, Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The city-run Engagement Center is a low-barrier day facility, which serves a few hundred people each day from the nearby "Mass and Cass" area, offering everything from bathroom facilities and a clean bed to referrals to drug-treatment facilities, dental care and even writing groups. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Boston's 'Mass and Cass' area, with its large homeless population and open-air drug market, remains a trouble spot for city officials, but staff at …

Social Issues

Maryland's Juvenile Restoration Act has been in effect for more than a year now and its impact has people talking about additional reforms. The act …

Health and Wellness

A new statewide initiative aims to help connect domestic-violence survivors with medical providers, with a focus on treating traumatic brain injury…

Children living near refineries, highways and other sources of air pollution are disproportionately at risk of developing respiratory illness. (Adobe Stock)


A successful program that helps low-income households weatherize homes and lower energy bills is setting its sights on improving the health outcomes o…

Social Issues

The Arizona New Parent Guide is a resource that is intended to help new parents meet the challenges of having a baby and support their baby's health …

Around 56% of those surveyed by Pew Research view climate-change policies as good for the environment. However, Americans are split on whether those policies help or harm the U.S. economy. (Adobe Stock)


This story is based on original reporting by Elizabeth McGowan for Energy News Network, and is part of the Solutions Journalism Network-Public News …

Social Issues

In just two months, it should be easier for providers of children's services in Pennsylvania's child-welfare and foster-care system to get the …

Social Issues

Human-rights activists in New Hampshire say the growing number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills at the Statehouse is encouraging right-wing extremists to intimida…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021