Iowa sees record-high general election voter turnout

Socially distanced voters mark their ballots at the Kalona Community Center on Tuesday. (James Jennings/The Union)
Socially distanced voters mark their ballots at the Kalona Community Center on Tuesday. (James Jennings/The Union)

DES MOINES — Iowa’s 2020 election was one for the record books.

Secretary of State Paul Pate says Iowans broke the all-time turnout record for a general election on Tuesday.

More than 1,697,000 Iowans voted, easily surpassing the previous state record of 1,589,951 set in 2012, according to unofficial results.

More than one million Iowans voted absentee, another new record.

As of Wednesday morning, 1,001,840 absentee ballots were received by county auditors. Absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 and received by noon on Nov. 9 will be counted.

All results remain unofficial until canvassing is completed and the results are certified on Nov, 30 by the Iowa Executive Council acting in its dual role as the state’s Board of Canvass.

“I want to send a big thank you to Iowa voters, poll workers, county election officials, and my staff,” Pate said in a statement Wednesday. “This was an election like no other and everyone stepped up.

“Record turnout during a pandemic is an amazing achievement and overall, the process went very smoothly in Iowa,” added Pate, Iowa’s commissioner of elections. “Also, huge thanks to our state and federal partners for helping us provide safe and secure elections.”

According to the Secretary of State’s office, 76 percent of all registered voters in Iowa participated — one of the highest turnout rates in the nation. On Monday, Iowans set a record for active registered voters at 2,095,581.


Every county will now conduct post-election audits in randomly selected precincts to help ensure the integrity of the vote, according to state officials.

County-by-county unofficial results in Tuesday’s balloting can be found at the https://electionresults.iowa.gov/IA/106279/web.264614/#/summary Web address.

Comments: (515) 243-7220; rod.boshart@thegazette.com

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