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'This Week in Iowa' | What you need to know before Election Day and the revitalization of the 6th Avenue corridor

First, Sabrina Ahmed breaks down voting law changes. Then, the developer of "Center @ 6th" tells us his vision for the revitalization of the 6th Avenue corridor.


Election Day

Early voting is underway and Election Day is just around the corner, but there are some key changes to note due to the election reform law that was passed earlier in the year:

  • Early voting is scaled down to 20 days (was previously 29 days)
  • Polling places close at 8 p.m. for all elections (original poll closing time was 9 p.m. for primary and general elections)
  • Absentee ballot requests for voting by mail must be received 15 days before the election
  • The only person who can return a voted absentee ballot other than the voter are: an immediate family member, someone living in the voter's household, a caretaker, or precinct officials who deliver the ballot to residents at health care facilities. In some cases, a "delivery agent" may be approved for voters with disabilities. 
  • Auditors will no longer perform mass mailings of ballot requests. 
  • An employee is entitled to take off from work in order to vote. However, they are only allowed two hours, down from three hours. 
  • Absentee ballots must be received by the county auditor by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. (Previously ballots were valid if postmarked before Election Day and received by the Monday following the election).

Center @ 6th 

The empty lot at the 6th Avenue corridor in Des Moines doesn't look like much yet, but it's set to become a hotspot for Black- and brown-owned small businesses. 

Developer MarKaus envisions it as a way to transform the neighborhood and spur job creation.

The 30,000 square-foot area will house restaurants, apartments and other shops. It'll even be home to MarKaus's bottling facility for his whiskey line. 

"I envision this being the home, the heart, the soul of the city. Where the best food is, the best drinks are, the best jobs are, the best departments, the best experience, the best guest speakers, the best art," MarKaus said. "This is that space." 

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