Still time to vote absentee in upcoming primary election

Residents who wish to vote in the upcoming June 2 primary but who are wary of going to a public place have the option of voting absentee.

Jefferson County Deputy Auditor Abbie DeKleine said requests for absentee ballots are noticeably higher this year compared to prior years. She said her office has mailed 2,037 ballots as of Thursday, May 14. Henry County election officials reported they had mailed upward of 2,500 ballots. In Washington County, 2,500 ballots have been requested, an enormous increase over the number of primary ballots cast in 2018 when it was 257, or four years ago when 490 citizens voted absentee.

Those who wish to vote absentee through the mail can request an absentee ballot through their local county auditor’s office. They must request either a Democratic or Republican Party ballot, but not both. The request must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, May 22.

Those who wish to vote in-person absentee in Jefferson or Washington counties can visit their local courthouse and call the number on the door which rings in the auditor’s office. An employee will come to the door to assist you with an absentee ballot. For Jefferson County residents, DeKleine said voters can then go inside a voting booth to fill out their ballot. Washington County Auditor Dan Widmer said Washington County’s in-person absentee is a little bit different, because there voters fill out their absentee ballot outside the courthouse, but employees will ensure that the voters have privacy.

Henry County voters will do something completely different to vote early. Instead of going to their courthouse, they will go to the emergency management building at 900 West Washington St., which they may do between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

All three counties, just like all 99 counties in the state, will have extended hours for voting in-person absentee near the primary Election Day. For instance, all locations will be open until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22 and again Friday, May 29. Also, they will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 30. Do note that they will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. The deadline to vote in-person absentee is Monday, June 1.

On Election Day itself, residents must go to their assigned polling place to vote. If they requested an absentee ballot but neglected to mail it in, they may take the ballot with them to their polling place on Election Day and vote that way.

Absentee ballots sent through the mail must be postmarked no later than June 1 and received in the county auditor’s office by noon June 8.

To contact your county auditor’s office, call one of the following phone numbers:

Henry County: (319) 385-0756

Jefferson County: (641) 472-2840

Washington County: (319) 653-7715