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

Everything you need to know about satellite absentee voting

It's like voting on Election Day, but instead you do it earlier—and you can beat the lines!

DES MOINES, Iowa — Election Day is just over five weeks away, and Iowans are already preparing to cast their vote starting Oct. 5 with absentee ballots

There's another way that Iowans can cast their ballot: satellite absentee voting.

No, it's not voting from space. It's like voting on Election Day, but earlier and faster. 

County auditors aren't required to offer absentee voting stations. In Polk County, there's only one in-person absentee location: the Polk County Auditor's Office

On the other hand, Dallas County is offering several satellite, in-person voting opportunities across the county throughout October. The first day is Oct. 12 from 2-8 p.m. at St. Boniface

A list of central Iowa satellite voting locations can be seen at the bottom of this story. 

When you go to vote at a satellite location, all you need is your ID. Then you'll be handed a ballot to mark in a private booth, just like on Election Day. 

That ballot won't go home with you—once you're done filling it out you'll hand it over to an election official. 

Your ballot will go to the same place as other absentee ballots to be counted on Nov. 3. Iowans planning to vote via in-person absentee can do so at their county auditor's office starting Oct. 5.

Find more information on voting in Iowa by visiting Local 5's Voter Guide.

Get the latest election results on the Local 5 Elections page on Election Night.

Central Iowa satellite voting locations, dates

Boone County

There won't be any satellite voting locations outside of the Boone County Courthouse, according to Boone County Elections Assistant Diane Patrick. 

In-person absentee voting is available at the auditor's office Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. starting Oct. 5. 

Dallas County

Dallas County has several options for voters this election. The embed below lists the dates and locations for people to vote via satellite.

Jasper County

Local 5 is waiting to hear back on whether or not the county will be providing satellite voting locations. In-person absentee voting can be done at the county auditor's office. The Jasper County Courthouse is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. 

Madison County

Madison County will not offer satellite voting locations this year. You can vote in-person via absentee ballot at the auditor's office in the Madison County Courthouse

Marshall County

Marshall County is offering one satellite voting location on Oct. 21 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Zamora Fresh Market. Other absentee voters can head to the county courthouse from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. 

Marion County

There will be two satellite voting days in Marion County this October. The location for both days is the Graham Conference Center at Central College in Pella. 

It'll be open on Oct. 12 and 19 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day. 

Other absentee voters that want to cast their ballot in-person before Election Day can head over to the Marion County Courthouse

Polk County

Polk County will not offer satellite voting locations "because of the various requirements (and changes) at the facilities" that the county uses, according to the auditor's office. 

Voters that want to cast their ballot early can do so at the Polk County Election Office located at the George Paletta Building in Des Moines. It's opened from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. 

Story County

Story County offers several satellite voting locations throughout October. Here's a look at the full list:

Warren County

Warren County will not be offering satellite voting stations this year. However, they are doing curbside absentee voting starting Oct. 5 through Nov. 2. 

There are two Saturdays where Warren County residents can cast their ballots: Oct. 24 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking will be available in the south parking lot of the Warren County Administration Building

Webster County

No satellite locations will be available in Webster County this year. In-person absentee voting is available 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday at the Webster County Human Services building

In addition, two Saturdays will be open for voters to cast their ballots. That will be Oct. 24 and 31 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.