Education

June 2 primaries: Linn County breaks turnout record with high volume of absentee ballots

In-person turnout still low with fewer than 2 percent voting in both Linn and Johnson counties

Precinct captain Joie Welsh organizes ballots at the Hiawatha Community Center in Hiawatha, Iowa, on Tuesday, June 2, 20
Precinct captain Joie Welsh organizes ballots at the Hiawatha Community Center in Hiawatha, Iowa, on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Poll workers arrive early to set up the polling booths, voting machine, and other all space in preparation for voting in the primary election. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Although fewer than 2 percent of Linn County’s registered voters had shown up at polling places by 3 p.m. Tuesday, overall turnout — including absentee ballots — reached a record high, according to election officials.

In-person poll turnout during the June 2 primaries, Iowa’s first major election held in the coronavirus pandemic, was just 1.54 percent in Linn County with 2,384 people voting.

Including the large number of absentee ballots, however, the county’s overall turnout was at 23.24 percent by 3 p.m. — an unofficial record, surpassing 1994’s 21.33 percent turnout, according to a tweet from Linn County elections services.

All registered Iowa voters were sent absentee ballot request forms ahead of the primaries. More than 33,600 Linn County residents have voted absentee, and more than 20,600 have in Johnson County.

In-person voting in Johnson County similarly remained low Tuesday, with 3 p.m. turnout data showing about 2.4 percent of registered voters, or 2,176 people, had visited the county’s 46 polling sites.

Polls are open until 9 p.m. Voters will decide U.S. Senate and U.S. Representative nominees for the Republican and Democratic parties, as well as nominees for state and county offices.

Both counties’ 11 a.m. turnout numbers showed in-person voting below 1 percent this morning.

Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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