Early voting for the June 8 special election begins in Johnson County

Jason Smith/Little Village

Early voting in the June 8 special election to fill the vacancy on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors began on Wednesday morning and will continue through Monday, June 7. The Johnson County Auditor’s Office also began sending out absentee ballots that have been requested by mail on Wednesday.

“Voting hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Drive through voting will take place in the alley on the south side of the Johnson County Administration Building, 913 S. Dubuque Street,” the Johnson County Auditor’s Office said in a news release. “Traffic will be one way with voters entering from the east side.”

There are also booths set up on the south side of the administration building for early voters who prefer to walk.

Three satellite voting locations will be open the weekend before the election. In Iowa City, voters will be able to cast a ballot early at the Iowa City Public Library (123 S Linn St) on Saturday, June 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, June 6, from noon to 5 p.m. Another satellite voting station will be set up at the North Liberty Community Library (520 W Cherry St) on Saturday, June 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the next day one will open at the Coralville Public Library (1401 5th St) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The bill imposing new restrictions on voting that Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law on March 8 will have an impact on voting by mail in the special election. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Monday, May 24, and the form requesting a ballot must be received in the auditor’s office by 5 p.m. that day. In order to be counted, mail-in ballots must be received in the auditor’s office by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Before the law was changed, mail-in ballots were considered valid if they were postmarked by Election Day and arrived at the auditor’s office by the Monday following an election.

The new law also cuts the amount of time voters will have to cast a ballot on Election Day. Instead of closing at 9 p.m., polling locations will now close at 8 p.m.

Election workers at the Johnson County Administration Building as early voting begins on May 19, 2021. — Paul Brennan/Little Village

There are three candidates — Democrat Jon Green, Republican Phil Hemingway and Brian Campbell, who is running with no party affiliation — on the ballot in the special election. The winner will serve through the end of former supervisor Janelle Rettig’s term, which lasts until December 2022. Rettig announced her resignation on April 18.

“I’ve known I wouldn’t be running for re-election for years, but with a lot of thought and discussion over the last year, I decided it was best to move on as soon as the COVID disaster was concluding,” Rettig wrote in a Facebook post announcing her resignation. She cited ongoing health problems as a major reason for stepping down early.

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