URBANDALE, Iowa — Poll workers are the first people Iowans will see when they vote in the November election, and they take pride in their service.
"I think almost all the poll workers that I know consider themselves to be democracy's first responders and we consider it our civic duty and our patriotic duty in exercising their franchise," said Rebecca Dublinkse, a poll worker in Polk County.
Dublinkse falls into the "high risk" category of Iowans opting to volunteer to work the polls during the pandemic. She said she worked during the June 2020 primary and felt safe.
"We wore a face mask and a face shield, but I had contact with about 250 individual people that day," said Dublinkse. "For people voting in this election, I would just ask that they please protect us as well and wear a face covering."
For first-time voters, Dublinkse has a few pieces of advice:
- Bring your photo I.D. and have it ready to present to the poll worker
- Be ready to answer a few questions from the poll worker when you arrive to vote
- Be patient and courteous
- Don't be afraid to ask questions
"I want people who are first-time voters to understand we have all been first-time voters," said Dublinkse. "It can be kind of nerve-racking for people and they don't know what to expect and it can be kind of embarrassing. And every poll worker wants to welcome those first-time voters and we want you to feel like you belong here."
Satellite absentee voting begins on Oct. 5. That's also the same day absentee ballots will begin to be mailed out to Iowans who have requested them.
If you want to find out more about your satellite voting location, go to the Secretary of State's website.
For more information on voting in November, click here or text VOTE to 515-457-1026.
RELATED: Previewing absentee voting in Iowa