Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th
The long election campaign finally comes to an end with Election Day on November 8th. Iowans who have not already voted early or by mail can vote at their local precinct from the hours of 7am to 9pm. While identification is not required, it is always a good idea for voters to bring a form of identification with them as they head to the polls. You can find your polling location by inserting your address at the following website maintained by the Iowa Secretary of State: https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterreg/pollingplace/search.aspx.
Some counties provide voters with the option of voting in-person at a satellite voting location, but counties are not required to provide these types of locations. County courthouses are also open on the Saturday before the Election for voters to vote early. Voters can find out if their county has a satellite voting location by going to the following website: https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/auditors/AuditorsList.html.
Some voters may still have an absentee ballot in their possession or want to request to vote by mail. In order to ensure that their vote is counted, a voter must have their ballot postmarked and in the mail by the day prior to the Election. Absentee ballot requests must be received by the county auditor by 5:00 pm on the Friday before the Election. Voters may also take a completed absentee ballot to the county auditor’s office on Election Day as long as it is returned before the time polls close. Voters can also take an incomplete ballot to their local precinct and turn it over and vote in-person at their polling location.
If a voter has any additional questions or thinks they are being treated unfairly, voter protection hotlines are available. Voters can call the Iowa Secretary of State at 1-888-SOS-VOTE. The ACLU has an Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE. The Iowa Democratic Party also maintains a voter protection hotline at 515-344-4550. The Republican Party of Iowa does not list a voter protection number on their website. Voters can also contact their local auditor from the link above with any questions.
Making Education the Top Priority Again
Democratic state lawmakers want to make education the top priority of the Iowa Legislature again. It will require a change in the make-up of the Iowa House.
Despite strong opposition from parents, school leaders, and many lawmakers, the House Majority party has shortchanged schools for several years in a row and many schools have been forced to cut teachers, increase class size, and raise property taxes. Iowa now ranks 35th in the nation in funding per student.
Last session, the Majority Party again refused to set school funding on-time as required by law so schools yet again will not be able to make timely budget decisions. Lack of funding also delayed requirements for summer reading and 3rd Grade Retention until the 2018-19 school year, and implementation of the Smarter Balanced Assessment was moved back to the 2017-18 school year.
In higher education, only slight increases to Iowa’s community colleges and three state universities were approved by the Governor and all were forced to raise tuition on students this year. Iowa graduates already accumulate one of the highest debts to go to college in the country, and these tuition increases will compound that problem.
It’s time we make Iowa a leader in education again, Iowa students deserve it.
Veterans Day-- A Time to Honor our Veterans
Veterans Day is Friday, November 11 and there are many ceremonies being held across the state to honor those who have served our country. First recognized in 1919, the date commemorates the end of fighting in World War I when an armistice took effect between the Allied nations and Germany.
As part of the numerous events honoring veterans across Iowa, the annual Veterans Day Program in Des Moines will be held on November 11 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center/Veterans Memorial beginning at 11:00 a.m. This event is open to the public and will include representatives from all Veterans Service Organizations.
Last session, the Legislature passed various bills to help Iowa’s veterans. These bills included providing a proper burial for all unclaimed veteran cremated remains, making it easier for veterans to receive a veteran’s designation on their driver’s license, and giving employers more tools for finding veteran preference information when hiring for open positions.
A full list of Veterans Day events statewide is available at: https://va.iowa.gov.
Continue Reading the Statehouse News
Iowa is Number One in Graduation Rates Again
Nine Counties Eligible for Loan Assistance from Flood Damage
Health Insurance Marketplace Now Open
New Report Shows Tuitions and Fees Rising Faster than Financial Aid
Female Juvenile Justice Website Launches
Courts Show the Success of Family Treatment Courts
Iowa Furbearer Season Opens November 5
Google Art Scholarship Competition Available
To read the rest of my Statehouse News go to:http://iowahouse.org/StatehouseNews/11-3-16