The main focus of the Ottumwa League of Women Voters is to encourage more eligible residents to go out and vote. When people don't trust the system, they don't vote. So in order to combat that, the League hosted a forum Monday evening with Wapello County Auditor Kelly Spurgeon.
Spurgeon was in attendance to answer any and all questions on the voting process, voter fraud and voter security.
Wapello County has a precinct atlas in half of the county's precincts. The atlas is an electronic poll book that will automatically flag someone if they try to register to vote as a person who is deceased or if they are a felon. That is a crucial step towards preventing voter fraud.
Spurgeon also guarantees that after you cast your ballot, your vote is secure.
"When they come into our office to vote, we balance with every vote that comes in every day," Spurgeon said. "Those ballots are stored in the vault. They're in a locked filing cabinet and then they're locked in a vault, so we're the only ones that have access to those."
Other topics of discussion at the forum included the idea of providing an translator at the polls on election days, to encourage minorities and legal immigrants to vote, and when you do and when you do not need to present an ID at the polls. Spurgeon said the only time you need to show an ID is when you're registering to vote on election day for the first time in that county or if you change precincts.
If you have any questions about the voting process, call or stop by the Wapello County Auditor's Office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.. The office can be reached at 641-683-0020.