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Cast Your Ballot

October 30, 2012
Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

We received another reminder about early voting for the General Election last week. I'll share it with you...but first... wouldn't you really rather go to the polls on election day to vote?

Undoubtedly there are people who will be out of town, and other people who cannot physically go to the polls. Those are just a couple of reasons to vote early.

But...if you could...wouldn't you really go to the polls on election to vote?

I think my first real interest in the presidential election was when Barry Goldwater was running in 1964. What caught my attention was AuH20. It was the perfect bumper sticker. Of course at the time I was still in high school and chemistry class, and the periodic table, were fresh in my mind, so Au = gold, H20 = water. Catchy, right?

Election night was spent in front of the television, watching as each state declared its winner. There were plenty of predictions, but not like today. I don't recall as many exit poll predictions either. Television commentators were somewhat mindful of the west coast voters who had not yet cast their ballots.

It's all different today. Every commentator has his or her prediction, based on scientific and unscientific polls. In my mind, early voting plays into these predictions.

As for me, I am going to vote on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

There was a time when I made a conscious effort to try and be the last person to vote in my ward. I would show up at the polls as late as possible, not knowing if their clock was exactly the same as mine. It was my own personal voting game for a while.

But for those of you who want to cast your ballot early, county auditors' offices are open statewide again this Saturday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Any voter wishing to vote early may do so in-person at the county auditor's office on Saturday.

Hopefully, everyone has pre-registered to vote. Pre-registering to vote will ensure a voter's name appears on the election register, making voting on election day easy and hassle free. If an eligible voter missed the Oct. 27 deadline for pre-registering, same-day election registration is available at the polls.

As of Thursday, Oct. 25, 586,943 absentee ballots requests have been received by auditors in Iowa, with 423,586 returned to date.

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 5 in order to be counted by election officials.

The point is -- everyone should vote -- whether they vote early by absentee, or vote on election day, Nov. 6. You have the right to vote. It's important and it's your duty. See you at the Election Center on Nov. 6!



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