MAHASKA COUNTY — Starting this fall, Mahaska County voters will generally have to remember to go one polling place to vote.
In the past, voters may have gone to different voting locations for different elections. The Mahaska County Auditor’s office has announced voters will have one voting location – for city, school, general and primary elections.
Deputy County Auditor Teresa Paige said the voting location decision was made for the sake of consistency.
“I think it will make it easier for the voters to know where they are to vote,” she said. “On election day, they know that ‘I go to Assembly of God Church, and that’s where I go to vote each time.’ Or ‘I go to Union Mills, that’s my voting location.’ It’s based on where they live.”
Paige said the change will mostly affect the outlying locations in the county. For example, a Scott Township resident would vote in Leighton.
The voting location change coincides with Iowa Legislature’s decision to have both school board and city council elections on the same day (this year, Tuesday, Nov. 5). Starting in 2019, election day for both elections will be the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in odd-numbered years.
The thinking behind the change, Paige said, is to encourage voter turnout as well as to hopefully save taxpayer dollars.
Basically, Paige said, no matter what school district a voter is in, whether that school district is located in Mahaska County or not, that voter would vote in Mahaska County.
There will be doing a county-wide mailing in September, Paige said. That card will tell each voter where they should go to vote.
“Everybody within the county will get a new card and we suggest that if they do not receive a card that they contact us,” she said. “That’s provided they are registered to vote. Got to be registered to vote in order to get a card.”
Mahaska County residents can register to vote online or at the Mahaska County Courthouse or on election day. A photo ID is required.
Managing Editor Angie Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @OskyAngie.