UPDATE: If you are looking for your Polling Location (where to vote on Election Day), CLICK HERE !.
If my experience tonight is any indication, we are in for record participation at the polls this year.
Originally I thought to wait until Election Day, but personal matters have made it possible that I may be called out of town and miss the opportunity to vote.
Two years ago, I voted early. At that time, one would go to the library, enter a small office, fill out an absentee ballot, and you’re done. No wait, no pain.
Fast forward to today. I voted early once again. And again I went to the library. I stood in line behind about 20 people. At the front of the line was a table with two poll workers each helping two people at a time fill out the forms for their absentee ballots. You could register here, although you needed some proof of your current residence, like a utility bill. Some people were also sent away because they live in the next county (our city of West Des Moines crosses two counties) and have to vote in that county.
Once I got my forms filled out, I was sent into a room with about eight voting stations, a guy with a laptop, and a couple of others handing out ballots and collecting them when people finished voting. Laptop-guy looked you up, found your precinct (they might have saved time if they just asked me), and then you get your ballot.
Voting took another 10 minutes for me (I’m kind of compulsive filling in those little ovals just right). Total time, 30 minutes.
This was at 5:30 PM – 6:00 PM. The line was almost as long when I left as when I arrived.
I’ve got to believe that at the same time on Election Day, the line in my precinct will be at least 70 deep.
My suggestion to anyone that has the time and wherewithall to do so is, go vote now. It may be a little bit of a hassle, but likely less of a hassle than on Election Day, and creates a higher probability that you actually get the voting done.