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It's hard to believe it's already May. Soon it will be Memorial Day, and June will be here before you know it.  We just wanted to remind everyone that there is a Primary Election scheduled for Tuesday, June 7, 2016.  Eight state legislators are facing primary opponents:

  • Rep. Mary Gaskill (D-Ottumwa)
  • Rep. Stan Gustafson (R-Cumming)
  • Rep. Jake Highfill (R-Johnston)
  • Rep. Dan Kelley (D-Newton)
  • Rep. Jarad Klein (R-Keota)
  • Rep. Kevin Koester (R-Ankeny)
  • Rep. Brian Meyer (D-Des Moines)
  • Rep. Jo Oldson (D-Des Moines)

There are also primary races in other areas, including primaries to select the Democrats running against US Senator Chuck Grassley, US Representative Rod Blum, and US Representative David Young (and David Young himself has a primary). There is also a hotly contested Republican primary between US Representative Steve King and State Senator Rick Bertrand, and Democratic primary for State Senator Dick Dearden's seat - his daughter Pam Dearden Conner faces off against labor lawyer Nate Boulton. 

As you can see, there are a lot of primary challenges out there, and every vote will count.  Primaries typically have lower voter turnout than general elections, so vote counts can be close.  Here's some information you'll want to know about the June 7 Primary Election:

  • Candidate lists are available here.

  • You have until Friday, May 27 to pre-register to vote. You can check to make sure you are registered to vote here. You can register to vote on primary election day, but you will need to bring with you proof of identity and proof of residency.  Click here for more information about same-day voter registration.

  • You can now request an absentee ballot be mailed to you, or vote early in person at your county auditor's office.  You can request an absentee ballot until 5 pm on Friday, June 3 (but don't wait that long, as there isn't much time to get it mailed to you, and have it back in the office in time to be counted).

  • You can find lots of information online at the Secretary of State's website here, or you can contact your local county auditor for more information.

  • The polls will be open from 7 am to 9 pm on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.  As a reminder, you must be a registered Republican to vote in the Republican primary, and a registered Democrat to vote in the Democratic primary.  You can change your party choice at the polls, and change it back after if you want.  But you must be registered with the party to vote in the primary.

There will be a lot of opportunities between now and the General Election in November to meet the candidates for elected office.  Take advantage of campaign events or debates; introduce yourself to the candidates and ask them for their positions on the issues important to you.  If you are not happy with the way things are - get involved and help change them.