Friday, July 1, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.


SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

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
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …


The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …

The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …


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