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Absentee Voting Concerns

JOHNSON COUNTY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - County auditors across the state of Iowa say they can't count some absentee ballots from Tuesday's school board and levy elections because they weren't postmarked.

State law mandates that every absentee ballot received after election day must be postmarked by the Monday before the election in order to be counted. But because of constraints, the United States Postal Service does not postmark every piece of mail, leaving some ballots that were mailed in time unable to be counted.

Johnson County Auditor Travis Weipert said that forced him to reject seven votes on Wednesday. He said none of the school board races were close enough for those seven votes to make a difference, but that could have been the case in some past elections.

In 2011, Rachel Stewart lost by one vote when she ran for University Heights city council -- two votes were left uncounted because they were not postmarked. Stewart is running for the council again this November, and hopes people get their ballots in early enough for that not to be an issue.

"If you're going to vote absentee, get it in there so it'll at least get in by that Tuesday. Because I think they'll count it if it gets in on election day, but if it comes on any day after that and they don't know when it was sent, they won't count it," Stewart said.

Weipert's office is also considering doubling the number of ballots for the upcoming city elections after a strong showing on Tuesday -- a record 12 percent of Iowa City voters cast a ballot.

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