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Record numbers vote early in Hamilton County

More than 4,700 voters of Hamilton County’s approximately 10,000 registered voters have already cast their ballots or submitted absentee ballots as of Monday afternoon.

“We went over the 4,700 mark today. It’s been nonstop here at the courthouse,” Kim Schaa, county auditor said.”

That tops the previous high of 3,505 in 2012 and 3,309 in 2016.

The absentee ballots will be counted on Tuesday, but the results will not be printed until after the polls close, according to the auditor.

The courthouse lobby has been set up with voting booths for those wishing to cast early ballots before election day.

Today, the polls will open at 7 a.m. at the eight polling sites around the county. They will remain open until 9 p.m.

Schaa said any remaining absentee ballots can be dropped off at the courthouse until the polls close on Tuesday. Absentee ballots cannot, however, be dropped off at any of the polling sites.

Schaa said that many safety precautions have been put into place for voters on Election Day. Masks are encouraged and hand sanitizer will be available at all polling sites.

“The poll workers will all have face masks, face shields and gloves,” Schaa said. The county has purchase some tall plexiglas barriers which will be placed over the checkin area and there also barriers in front of the poll workers, she said.

The voting booths will be sanitized between each voter, according to Schaa.

Those heading to the polls today will need an ID in order to vote, Schaa said. Those wishing to register to vote at the polls will also have to show proof of residency.

To find out where to vote, visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s website, sos.iowa.gov and click on the “Find My Precinct/Polling Place” on the right hand side of the page.

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