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Make your voice heard in the 2021 city/school elections

Early voting in Iowa’s 2021 combined city/school election began Wednesday, October 13 as part of the lead-up to Election Day which falls on Tuesday, November 2 this year.

Voters will have the opportunity to select candidates for mayor, for their local city council, and for school board. Despite school board candidates running by geographic district, all school board seats in Tama County are voted on at-large by the entire school district’s electorate.

Those who plan to vote in-person on Election Day or early ahead of the election, have some new rules to contend with this year.

As a result of legislation passed by the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature this past spring, Iowans now have nine days less to vote early — the current period having dropped from 29 days to 20 days.

Since 2017, the period to vote early has dropped significantly due to legislation passed by the Iowa Legislature — from 40 days to the current 20 days.

In the 2021 election, Iowans can vote early by mail or by visiting their local county auditor’s office.

The last day to request an absentee ballot was Monday, October 18.

Absentee ballots must be received by the local county auditor’s office by 8 p.m. on November 2, 2021.

Polls will open at 7 a.m. on Election Day and close at 8 p.m. — a full hour earlier than in previous elections.

Registered voters must bring a form of identification to the polls before receiving and casting a regular ballot. Acceptable forms of photo ID include an Iowa driver’s license or non-operator ID, U.S. passport or military ID, veteran’s ID, tribal ID, or an Iowa voter ID card.

Iowa still allows same-day voter registration. To register to vote on Election Day, an Iowa voter must provide proof of residence.

If a voter is unable to provide photo ID or proof of residency, they may have their identity/residency attested to by another registered voter in the precinct or prove identity and residence using Election Day Registration documents or cast a provisional ballot and provide proof of identity/residence at the county auditor’s office by Thursday, November 4, 2021.

Early voting in the Tama County Auditor’s Office is available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays now through Monday, November 1. Voting is also available over the noon hour.

The Tama County Auditor’s Office will be open late until 5:00 p.m. for voting on Monday, October 18 and again on Friday, October 29.

Those who are unable to physically enter their polling place have the right to vote inside their vehicle — referred to as curbside voting — during both early voting and on Election Day.

To use early curbside voting in Tama County, voters are asked to park near the Tama County Administration Building located at 104 W State Street, Toledo between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and then call the Tama County Auditor’s Office at 641-484-2740 to request curbside voting.

Visitors to the Tama County Administration Building — including those who are voting — are asked to wear a mask if not vaccinated.

Polling locations for the Combined City/School Election in Tama County are the same as the general election polling locations with the exception of Grant Township.

The polling location for those voters residing in the City of Chelsea, Richland Township, or Salt Creek Township is the Chelsea Fire Station.

The polling location for voters in the City of Clutier, Carroll Township, Oneida Township, or North Otter Creek Township is the Clutier Fire Station.

The polling location for voters in the City of Dysart, Clark Township, or Geneseo Township is the Dysart Community Building.

The polling location for voters in the City of Elberon, City of Vining, or York Township is the Elberon Community Building.

The polling location for voters in the City of Garwin or Carlton Township is the Garwin Community Building.

The polling location for voters in the City of Gladbrook, Spring Creek Township, or West Crystal Township is the Gladbrook Memorial Building.

The polling location for voters in the City of Lincoln, Lincoln Township, or Grant Township voters in the Gladbrook-Reinbeck School District is the Amvets Post #10 of Lincoln, 101 E Main Street, Lincoln.

The polling locations for voters in the City of Montour, Highland Township, or Indian Village Township is the Montour Community Building.

The polling location for voters in the City of Tama, Columbia Township, Tama Township, or South Otter Creek Township is the Tama Civic Center.

The polling location for voters in the City of Toledo, Howard Township, or Toledo Township is the Reinig Civic Center.

The polling location for voters in the City of Traer, Perry Township, Buckingham Township, East Crystal Township, or Grant Township voters in the North Tama School District is the Traer Memorial Building.

The polling location for voters in the Meskwaki Settlement is the Tribal Community Building.