DES MOINES, Iowa – Secretary of State Paul Pate and AARP Iowa are calling for older voters to continue practicing social distancing and to utilize absentee voting by mail for the June 2 primary election. Secretary Pate will mail every active registered voter in Iowa an absentee ballot request form later this month and AARP will launch radio ads today encouraging older voters to take advantage of voting by mail. 

Additionally, Pate has extended the absentee voting period for mailed ballots in Iowa to 40 days, which means ballots will be mailed by county auditors starting April 23.

“The safety of our voters has to be the top priority during this pandemic and the safest way to vote in the June primary will be by mailing an absentee ballot,” he said.

Here are three steps Iowa voters should take to vote in the June 2 primary:

  1. Make sure your address is correct on your voter registration so ballot request forms are sent to the correct address. You have to be registered as a Republican or a Democrat to participate in the primary.
  1. Fill out an absentee ballot request form and mail it to your county auditor. Ballot requests will be sent to every active registered voter. Iowans can also download the request form directly from the Iowa Secretary of State website, VoterReady.Iowa.gov. Requests must be received by the county auditor before 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22.
  1. Once you receive your ballot, fill it out and put it in the mail. 

“On behalf of AARP and older voters across the state, we commend Secretary Pate for making it easy and safe for voters to participate in the upcoming primary election,” said Brad Anderson, AARP Iowa State Director. “We know older voters make their voice heard loud and clear every election cycle. The only difference this year is that we are asking them to do so safely from the comfort of their kitchen table.”

Statistics show older Iowans vote in higher percentages than any other members of the population. More than 80% of Iowans 50 and older participated in the 2016 general election.

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