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The Latest in Iowa Primary: Pate expects turnout 'records broken' in primary

MGN Online

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The Latest on the Iowa primary election (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said Tuesday that he expects "we're going to see some records broken" for turnout in the Iowa primary.

Pate called voting so far "brisk" across the state, with "every indicator" suggesting an above-average turnout.

Johnson County reported a "higher than expected" turnout as of 3 p.m., while Linn County's turnout so far is "slightly down" compared to 2014. Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald says he expects a "stronger than average" turnout, with a record finish still possible.

Woodbury County reported a high number of Democratic early voters, and auditor Patrick Gill says he expects turnout to be "about average." Pottawattamie County is "very slow" so far, says deputy auditor Kristi Everett.

Pate says early voting and voter registration hit record numbers in advance of the primary.

3:15 p.m.

Iowa's chief election official says a situation involving texts directing voters to incorrect polling places is now "under control."

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said Tuesday afternoon that an investigation isn't finished. He says he doesn't expect further information to be released before polls close. A spokesman says more details likely will be released later this week.

Pate says the text messages were sent Tuesday "in error" by one of the campaigns. He says his office doesn't know how many erroneous texts were sent. Some of the primary day texts erroneously start with, "Tomorrow is the Democratic Primary."

The texts have been reported in Polk, Linn, Johnson, Black Hawk and Winneshiek counties. Voters can contact their county auditor's office or go online to find polling place information.

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2:15 p.m.

A Des Moines man who voted in the Republican primary at the Polk County Auditor's Office is the sort of voter Democrats want to attract this fall.

Brian Thorland said Tuesday that he has voted for Democrats in the past few elections but hesitates to call himself a swing voter. He says he could see himself supporting Democratic candidate Fred Hubbell over Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds this fall.

The 54-year-old says he doesn't think Reynolds has accomplished much. He says Hubbell, a retired businessman, has helped a lot of people. Thorland says he's unsure about the other Democratic candidates.

Reynolds is running unopposed in the primary. Polls indicate Hubbell is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. Other candidates are union leader and nurse Cathy Glasson; physician and former health care executive Andy McGuire; party organizer and aide John Norris; and former Iowa City mayor Ross Wilburn.

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12:25 p.m.

A West Des Moines woman who voted for party organizer and aide John Norris in the Democratic primary for Iowa governor says she made her decision in the polling booth.

Ashly Banta said Tuesday that she was debating between Norris and retired businessman Fred Hubbell. The 31-year-old says Norris has a "quiet and strong demeanor" that speaks to rural Iowans.

Polls indicate Norris has trailed Hubbell, the apparent front-runner, but could benefit if the nomination were to go to a state convention. That would happen if no candidate were to receive at least 35 percent of the primary votes.

The other candidates are physician and former health care executive Andy McGuire and former Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn.

The Democratic nominee will challenge Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds in the fall. Reynolds is unopposed in the primary.

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11:55 a.m.

An Urbandale woman who voted for union leader Cathy Glasson in the Democratic primary for Iowa governor likes Glasson's progressive orientation.

Thirty-year-old Aleson Teichroew said Tuesday that she supported Glasson because she wants to see the Democratic Party move to a more progressive orientation, which she says appeals to younger members of the party.

Glasson is running a campaign in the style of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, including calling for a $15 hourly minimum wage and single-payer health care. Businessman Fred Hubbell is considered the Democratic front-runner.

The others running are physician and former health care executive Andy McGuire; party organizer and aide John Norris; and former Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn.

The Democratic nominee will challenge Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds in the fall. Reynolds is unopposed in the primary.

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10:55 a.m.

Election officials are warning that some Iowa voters are receiving text messages directing them to the wrong polling places.

Secretary of State Paul Pate tweeted Tuesday morning that his office is investigating the texts. He said some of the primary day texts erroneously start with "Tomorrow is the Democratic Primary."

Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald says county auditors were told a preliminary investigation suggests the texts are a mistake by a campaign and not malicious in intent. Reports of incorrect text messages were made in Polk, Linn, Johnson and Black Hawk counties.

A spokesman for Pate's office says additional information is forthcoming. Pate says voters can contact their county auditors' offices or go online to find polling place information.

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10:20 a.m.

With five Democratic candidates competing in Iowa's gubernatorial primary, it's possible the top vote-getter doesn't end up on the November ballot.

Iowa law requires a primary candidate to secure 35 percent of the vote to win an election. If that doesn't happen Tuesday, the Democratic nomination will be decided at a state party convention later this month.

Several Iowa officials, historians and political science professors say they're not aware of any gubernatorial nomination for either major party that has been decided by convention.

At least two Republican congressional races have been decided at party conventions in recent years.

The eventual nominee will attempt to unseat Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is facing her first electoral bid to be governor after serving the remaining term of Terry Branstad, now U.S. ambassador to China.

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9:10 a.m.

Nearly 50,000 people have already cast their ballots in Iowa's primary through early voting.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate's office says that's the rough total of early ballots submitted as of Monday. That number could increase as additional absentee ballots are received.

Democrats cast about 35,000 ballots, while Republicans cast about 14,400 ballots. Libertarians cast 215 ballots.

Pate says Iowa set a record for early voting requests this primary. More than 54,000 voters made requests, surpassing the previous high of nearly 45,000 in 2014. The state also hit a new high for registered voters leading into a primary. Iowa now has about 1.96 million active voters -- exceeding a 2010 record by more than 7,000 voters.

Two Democrats will square off Tuesday to challenge Pate, a Republican, who is unopposed in the primary.

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8:15 a.m.

Iowa voters heading to the polls Tuesday will be asked for identification as part of a new law that was passed last year in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The law, which is being phased in, requires voters this year to be asked for approved ID. If someone doesn't have that identification, he or she can sign an oath verifying their identity and cast a regular ballot.

Acceptable forms of identification will be an Iowa driver's license, an Iowa nondriver's ID, a new nonphoto voter card, a U.S. passport or passport card, a military identification or a veterans ID.

Both state officials and voting advocacy groups say they're keeping a close watch on the law's rollout. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says no eligible voter will be turned away.

In 2019 a person without proper identification will have to vote by provisional ballot. That requires the voter to return within a few days with ID, or the ballot won't count.

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7:30 a.m.

Polls have opened for the primary election in Iowa, giving voters 14 hours to cast ballots for local, state and national races.

Voting began at 7 a.m. Tuesday and is scheduled to end at 9 p.m. Iowa has one of the longest hours for election day voting in the country.

Data show more than 40,000 voters have cast ballots during early voting that began May 7.

A new voter ID law in Iowa will see its first statewide soft rollout during the primary. Iowans will be asked to show approved identification before voting. Anyone without an ID will have the option to sign an oath verifying their identity to cast a regular ballot.

Key statewide contests include the Democratic primary for governor and several congressional races. Republicans have several choices for the secretary of agriculture race, and there's a two-way race for Democrats in the primary for secretary of state.

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12:10 a.m.

Depending on their party, Iowa voters will have a packed or sparse primary election ballot.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday for an election that features plenty of Democratic candidates seeking to run against Republican incumbents. Because the GOP holds so many statewide and congressional offices, Republican voters will see fewer options as most incumbents will face challengers.

Democrats will pick from contested fields for governor, three of four congressional seats and secretary of state.

Republicans will see contested races for the 4th Congressional District and state agriculture secretary.

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