Primary Turnout Driven by Local Races this Year

by Brian Wilson
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This is Primary Election Day in Iowa as voters choose the nominees who’ll represent the two major parties in the General Election. Secretary of State Paul Pate — the top election official in Iowa — isn’t making a prediction on turnout.

Pate says participation in the primaries isn’t likely a predictor of General Election turnout.

Two years ago, more than 356-thousand Iowans voted in the 2022 primaries. It was the second-highest voter turnout since 1994. There is no statewide race this year, though. Pate says all the election equipment being used today (Tuesday) was tested in advance — and ballot tabulators are not connected to the internet.

Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You have to be a registered Republican or a registered Democrat to vote in that party’s primary. Iowans may register to vote or switch parties at their local polling site by showing a photo I-D. Absentee ballots have to be received by county auditors by 8 p.m. Tuesday or they will not be counted.

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