(Several decorahnews.com readers have been asking questions about the safety of leaving a filled-out absentee ballot in the Winneshiek County Courthouse dropbox. Our story below explains the process which will be followed):
The Answer Person says: "Starting Monday, October 5th, the first day absentee ballots will be available, Winneshiek County residents will be receiving absentee ballots in the mail. The ballots can be filled out and returned to the Auditor's Office. What's the best way to do that? They can just be sent in by mail. Not comfortable with that? They can be left in the dropbox in front of the Winneshiek County Courthouse in Decorah. Starting October 5th, the staff of the County Auditor's Office will be the ONLY people with access to the dropbox (the keys will be changed). They will check the lockbox two to four times a day, carrying all dropbox mail back to the Auditor's Office, where they will sort ballots from the rest of the mail. The ballots from the lockbox will be stored in the vault of the Auditor's Office, securely locked up.
If you are still worried about security (and you shouldn't be!), you can personally carry your filled-out ballot into the Auditor's Office on the second floor of the courthouse, where they put it in their vault. The ballots will stay inside the Auditor's Office all the way through Election Day.
If you are still worried, you can visit the Iowa Secretary of State's website, where there is software which will allow you to track your absentee ballot to make sure it has been received and counted. The link can be found here.