116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Early voting begins: Early voting started Wednesday in Iowa. Auditors have started mailing out absentee ballots, and voters can begin voting early at county auditors’ offices and satellite voting locations in their county.
Voters have until Monday to return an absentee ballot request to their county auditor if they would like to vote by mail. Mailed ballots must be returned to the county auditor’s office by 8 p.m. Nov. 8 to be counted.
Voters can also vote on Election Day, Nov. 8. Iowans will need an ID to vote, both early and Nov. 8. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can go to sos.iowa.gov to find your polling place.
Iowa Poll finds Grassley in close race: The Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll found a tight contest for U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, who held a 3-point lead over Democratic challenger Mike Franken in the race for U.S. Senate in Iowa.
Two top rating agencies — the Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball — shifted their ratings of the race from “safe” or “solid” Republican to “likely” Republican after the poll result, signaling Grassley is less safe than the analysts previously thought.
In four days after the poll, Franken’s campaign said it had raised $500,000 in donations from across the country. The Republican Party of Iowa shrugged off the results, saying the poll frequently underestimates Republicans.
Candidates for governor debate: Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds and Democratic challenger Deidre DeJear clashed over the best use of Iowa’s taxpayer funds, education and abortion in the race’s only debate on Iowa PBS this past week.
Reynolds touted her six-year record in office, saying she has maintained a strong budget while cutting Iowans’ taxes. DeJear argued Iowa’s critical systems, like public education and mental health care, are underfunded and said tax cuts are hurting Iowa’s low- and middle-income residents, who rely on social services.
Bird flu found in backyard flock: State and federal authorities confirmed a new case of bird flu Thursday in a backyard flock in Dallas County.
It’s the first case of the highly transmissible and deadly virus in a domesticated flock since early May. Wild geese and ducks were found to have the virus in September in Iowa.
The bird flu killed 13 million birds in Iowa this spring. Cases have been found in farms in neighboring states, and officials last month said they were cautious of it returning to Iowa’s farms.
They said ...
“If we’re over-collecting, we’re going to get that money back to hardworking Iowans. If we’ve over-collected, then we need to turn it back to them. And so we’re going to look for opportunities to do that.” — Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds on the potential for future tax cuts
“What they need is systems that are going to work for them so they can have that economic sustainability, and at the end of the day, that means we’re putting their taxpayer dollars to work.” — Democratic candidate for governor Deidre DeJear on how to use taxpayer money
Odds and ends
New filing in abortion case: Lawyers for abortion-rights groups argued in court this past week that the Iowa Supreme Court does not have the authority to lift a 2019 injunction on the state’s six-week abortion ban, which Gov. Kim Reynolds is asking the court to reinstate. The state’s attorneys recently argued the court should vacate the injunction because the legal landscape in the state had changed based on decisions from the state and federal supreme courts.
Reynolds outraises Democratic opponent: Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds continued to significantly outpace Democratic challenger Deidre DeJear in fundraising, based on recent state reports. Reynolds raised $2.2 million in the last three months, while DeJear raised a little over $806,000.
In the race for attorney general, Republican challenger Brenna Bird raised $2.3 million in the last month, owing largely to $1.8 million in donations from the Republican Attorneys General Association. Incumbent Democrat Tom Miller raised a little over $1 million, including $800,000 from the Democratic Attorneys General Association.
COVID cases continue falling: The number of new COVID-19 cases in Iowa dropped to 1,508 in the week ending Wednesday, down from 1,718 the week before. Hospitalizations are at the lowest level since May, with 144 patients in the state hospitalized with the virus, down from 174 the previous week.
Hinson recovering after kidney infection: U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, who represents Iowa’s northeast 1st District, was hospitalized Monday for a kidney infection. She was released the next day, and she said she is recovering at home and will resume campaigning soon. A debate with Democratic challenger Liz Mathis was canceled.