Skip to comments.Polling places in Iowa are closing due to COVID-19, which could affect close races
Posted on 10/29/2020 11:48:26 AM PDT by SJackson
With less than a week before the election, Iowans are losing places to cast ballots.
Voters in Iowa are facing shuttered polling locations less than a week away from Election Day, largely due to the various outbreaks of COVID-19 that have gripped the state.
Iowa is one of the several Midwest states experiencing record upticks in new coronavirus infections, with 1,133 Iowans testing positive for the virus yesterday. Two days prior, Iowa set a record for the number of new cases, reporting 2,691 on Oct. 26. In total, more than 121,000 people in Iowa tested positive for the coronavirus.
The current state testing positivity rate sits at 12.8 percent, well above the 10 percent rate recommendation to begin reopening economic and public sectors.
Reporting by NPR, the Iowa Public Radio News and the Center for Public Integrity finds that hundreds of polling centers have closed due to COVID-19, leaving voters with fewer local options.
"All of us, we are going to have to look up where we need to go. I mean, I'm not sure which place I would go," Sheena Thomas, a voter in Des Moines, told reporters. "That's going to be an issue for everybody."
Thomas ultimately decided to vote absentee, but mass shutdowns and consolidations in locations can lead to confusions as to where to go, as well as longer lines to cast ballots.
These closures also come during a contentious presidential election and many local elections, leading officials to fear that a lack of polling centers may skew the election outcome. NPR further notes that since 2016, Iowa has lost 261 polling places, which affect roughly 30 percent of the states voters, many of whom reside in urban areas.
The same analysis also revealed that communities with larger proportions of people of color have also experienced higher rates of polling place shutdowns, leading to more fears of voter suppression.
"I'm certain that it's going to make it harder for people to vote. But I am seeing a resolve right now, where people are determined," Vikki Brown, the chair of the Black Hawk County Democrats, told reporters. "Whatever you do, we're going to counteract it."
Black Hawk County is one of the most diverse areas in Iowa and has seen larger portions of polling place closures.
Some of the main reasons for closures during this election stem from concerns over hosting polling places during the pandemic, as well as shortage of volunteer poll workers willing to come into contact with hundreds of people.
As a solution, polling places may be consolidated during the primaries in multiple states, such as in Atlanta and Milwaukee.
On Election Day, we can anticipate to see long lines in areas where there have been mass closures," Leigh Chapman, the director of the voting rights program at the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, said regarding the 2020 Election Day.
While hundreds of thousands of Iowans appear to intend to vote absentee, like Thomas, polling station closures have proven to slow voter turnout. |
This hurts Republicans, who vote overwhelmingly in person, and Jodi Ernst especially should be concerned and get this fixed ASAP.
Advantage: crawl-on-broken-glass conservative voters.
Testing positive means little once you take a look at viral load in the patient and symptoms. So many people test positive with no symptoms.
This is BS
Keep them open let individuals decide to take the risk or not
Knew this was the plan all along......Get the Rats in for early voting, and close the polls as most Trump supporters have declared they’ll be voting on election day.
Was it cases of COVID-19 rising or Republic turnout rising?
Alot of early voting is GOP around the country!
Is the GOP doing anything about this???
This is such blatant voter suppression! I can’t believe they are trying to pull this sh!t off!
Exactly, sounds real fishy to me. More Dem corruption
In 1918, 195,000 Americans died just in the month of October from Spanish Flu. They still had the election in November. People at the polls wore masks.
I disapprove of closing polling places because some people are afraid. They can stay home.
This is total BS. They cannot disenfranchise people in good health because someone else has a virus
How can they possibly disenfranchise thousands of American voters in one fell swoop?
These people need to go to jail for what they’ve done to America.
I KNEW THIS WAS GOING TO BE THEIR PLAN.
Polling places in Iowa are closing due to COVID-19
Yep here we go
I saw online that my “early voting” location (they call them voting centers now instead of polling places) was as of last week supposed to be open Thurs, Fri, Sat, and Mon.
So I went down today to vote in person, found some other voters there trying to vote in person, and checked the website again and now it only says Fri, Sat, and Mon for early voting.
A bait and switch! This is CA trying to make things complicated for the GOP who likes to vote in person. They are putting the squeeze on to discourage in person voting. In fact they basically imply it’s only for those who “need extra assistance” and CAN’T mail in their ballots or use a drop box.
I don’t want my vote to be thrown out due to a possible signature mismatch issue.
So now I have to go back and try again Mon as I’m going out of town this weekend. Already more complicated than it should be.
Who writes this garbage? Doesn't anyone proofread anymore? First, the primaries are far, far behind us. When I read this, I checked for the article date. Second, Atlanta and Milwaukee are not "states"!
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