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Mail-in absentee voting drives higher Scott County participation in Iowa Primary

The unexpected effect of COVID-19 and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate's decision to mail absentee ballot request forms to every registered voter in the state.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Iowa voters on Tuesday turned out to the polls in the primary election for federal and local office ahead of the November General Election. 

In Davenport, voters at the Scott County Administration could be seen wearing masks and practicing social distancing, passing by smashed out windows in at the courthouse next door -- signs of the two public crises playing out at once -- and making the 2020 Iowa Primary one of the strangest in recent memory.

"People are at the polling locations, just not in droves," said Roxanna Moritz, Scott County Auditor."But it will supersede any election I've been in for a primary."

Scott County had already received 17,000 early ballots before the polls had even opened. Moritz said that already surpassed any primary election she had been a part of -- the unexpected effect of COVID-19 and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate's decision to mail absentee ballot request forms to every registered voter in the state.

"I'm going to say overall turnout is wonderful, because you have 17,000 ballots in hand right now of early votes," Moritz said. 

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