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Early Voting Begins Monday for Sales Tax Special Election

DES MOINES, Iowa – People who live in six metro cities have the opportunity, starting Monday, to vote early in a special election on whether to increase the Local Option Sales and Services Tax by one percent.

Cities that are voting include: Alleman, Altoona, Des Moines, Pleasant Hill, West Des Moines, and Windsor Heights.

Depending on the city, money from the sales tax increase could go towards repairing streets, flood prevention, public and more. Fifty-percent of the increase is mandated to go toward property tax relief. To see your city's ballot click here.

Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald said this will be the first election where Polk County voters will be required to show a voter identification at the polls.

Valid voter identifications include: Iowa driver’s license, Iowa non-operator’s identification, military identification, U.S. passport, tribal identification, veteran’s identification, and a voter identification card.

Fitzgerald said in 2018 there was confusion about PIN cards that were sent home to households.

“People that get the PIN cards are people that don’t have Iowa driver’s license. So say, somebody that doesn’t drive any longer or their driver license has lapsed or is out of state we will send them a PIN card. So, 90 percent of the time people we are sending cards to, that have driver’s licenses, those cards can’t be used,” Fitzgerald said.

If someone forgets a valid form of identification there are still options to vote.

The first is finding someone in your precinct that can verify you. That person will sign their name to vouch for you.

“Or you can vote with what is called a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot, the major difference is you are going to write on a piece of paper we are going to tell you what exactly you need to do, what you need to bring and you have a few days after the election to bring it. So you are not going to put that ballot in the machine. You are going to put it in the envelope, and then you are going to come to our office so by March 7th to show that identification,” Fitzgerald said.

The election is March 5th. People have until February 22nd to request an absentee ballot by mail and pre-register.

People still can register the day of the election.

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