After some confusion surrounding secrecy envelopes being included with mailed absentee ballots, the Guthrie County Auditor’s Office wants to ensure that every lawful vote counts and that the election process is safe and fair.

County Auditor Dani Fink says that all absentee ballots that were mailed prior to October 8th without a secrecy envelope, and are returned to her office will not be rejected. She points out that Iowa law doesn’t require an absentee ballot to be enclosed in a secrecy envelope inside the affidavit envelope when returned. However, all ballots mailed from her office after October 8th will include a secrecy envelope that voters can choose to use. Fink also reminds voters of how long absentee ballots are accepted, “So they have to be postmarked by November 2nd in order to be counted and then if they have the proper postmark by November 2nd and if we received it by Monday the 9th of November at noon, so the Monday following the general election, they will still be eligible to be counted.”

Fink adds that anyone who wants a secrecy envelope that didn’t receive one can contact her office to have one mailed or picked up. She also reminds voters to sign the yellow highlighted affidavit section on the return envelope. For more questions about the election, contact the Auditor’s Office at 641-747-3619.