Absentee voting rules changed at Johnson County nursing homes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Absentee voting rules changed at Johnson County nursing homes

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JOHNSON COUNTY (KWWL) -

State law requires auditors to send bipartisan teams to deliver ballots to voters in hospitals and health care facilities like nursing homes to help make sure there's no voter fraud. But it gets more complicated when a nursing home also offers independent living.

This week in Johnson County, auditor Travis Weipert announced he's changing that policy.

Until now, seniors in independent living and assisted care apartments in Johnson County could not request an absentee ballot in the mail if their facility also housed a nursing home.

Starting with this election cycle, that's changing.

"We've decided, after getting an opinion from our county attorney, (to) start mailing those people on the independent side ballots -- but now the downside is, when our team goes out to the assisted living, they can't go over and vote on that day," said Weipert.

For seniors to vote at the facility that day, it would need to become a satellite site and be open to the public.

Weipert hopes the legislature will consider changing the state law.

In Linn County, officials in the auditors office agreed that when facilities have independent living and a nursing home, voting does get tricky. There's a state list the auditor's office follows as to which facilities meet each description.

In Black Hawk County, the auditor's office says it sends a team to nursing homes and will mail ballots to independent living.

And in Dubuque County, an official we spoke to in the auditor's office wasn't aware of any facilities which met both descriptions.

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