x
Breaking News
More () »

Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Your election questions, answered: What is satellite absentee voting? How are absentee ballots counted?

Local 5 asked the Dallas County Auditor about two big topics as Election Day approaches.

Here at local 5, we want you to be informed about voting in the upcoming election on Nov. 3.

What is satellite voting?

Something you may have heard about is early satellite voting. But what is it, and how does it work?

Dallas County Auditor Julia Helm says they have added an extra satellite voting location for this election

These sites are open ahead of Nov. 3, and have different hours. To find a list of satellite voting locations, contact your county auditor.

The big thing to know about satellite voting: you can do it in-person to avoid the lines on Election Day.

"If you have your absentee ballot you can bring it and vote and drop it off," Helm said. "Or if you have it ready to go with your ballot in it you can just walk in and drop it off."

So if you are wary about sending your absentee ballot through the mail and you want to make sure it gets in there on time, drop off your sealed ballot at a satellite voting location ahead before Nov. 3.

How are absentee ballots counted?

Here is what happens when you mail or drop off your absentee ballot.

"Once it is in our office, we receive it and then it's in our office and it's in a locked facility," Helm said. "And we reconcile it every day so we have exactly what we have in."

There is also something called an Absentee Ballot Board, which is made up of 20 people. Half are Republican, half are Democrat.

This group is in charge of taking those absentee ballots and counting them.t

That process can start, by Iowa law, the day before the election and lasts through Election Day.

If you want to vote absentee, you can request for a ballot right now.

Ballots start going out in the mail Oct. 5.

Download the We Are Iowa app or subscribe to Local 5's "5 Things to Know" email newsletter.

RELATED: What do I need to vote in the 2020 General Election?

RELATED: VERIFY: If you've received multiple absentee ballot request forms in the mail, be sure to fill out just one