Iowa voters, beware: You could be disenfranchised by an absent postmark on your absentee ballot. Lawmakers and state elections officials are warning that a state law mandating postmarks on absentee ballots has caused the disqualification of dozens of potentially valid votes in recent elections, and could disqualify many more in high-profile statewide contests later this year. After months of debate, legislators have failed to find a solution to the problem and all but given up on fixing it before they adjourn the current session.
The law at issue requires absentee ballots received after Election Day to be stamped with a postmark from the day before Election Day or earlier. Any ballot received after Election Day without a postmark is tossed out and not counted — even if the voter completed and mailed it on time.