With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging in the U.S., many voters are choosing to stay safe and vote absentee prior to the Nov. 3 election.

In Iowa, ballot request forms have been mailed out to every active voter, some by the county auditor, most by Secretary of State Paul Pate, and more being mailed by the political parties and other independent voting advocacy groups. However, applications in three counties — Linn, Johnson and Woodbury — were invalidated by separate court decisions because auditors in those counties proactively filled out voter information beyond Pate’s directives.

But with the mailing of the ballots starting Oct. 5 — 29 days prior to election day as dictated by Iowa law — Waverly Newspapers is continuing its tradition to summarize who and what will be voted on this year.There are three contested races of local interest. Republican Supervisor Ken Kammeyer will face Democratic challenger Dean Mitchell for the Supervisor District 1 seat. The district includes Wards 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Waverly along with the unincorporated areas of Washington Township east of Easton Avenue and east of the Waverly city limits.

Kammeyer is a retired real estate agent seeking his fifth term on the board.His challenger, Mitchell, owner of Dean Mitchell Insurance in Waverly, is seeking public office for the first time but has served as the president of the Waverly Softball Association and is a past AMVETS post commander.

Meanwhile, the other county-level offices are uncontested. Supervisor Dewey Hildebrandt is seeking a third term in District 3; Auditor Shelley Wolf and Sheriff Dan Pickett are also unopposed for their races.

At the state level, both of Statehouse races are contested. State Rep. Sandy Salmon, R-Janesville, faces Democratic challenger Carissa Froyum, of Denver, in House District 63.

Salmon, a retired Marine and farm manager, is hoping to be voted in for her sixth term.

Meanwhile, Froyum, an instructor at the University of Northern Iowa, hopes to flip the seat to the blue side. The district includes all of Bremer County and the northern part of Black Hawk County outside of Waterloo and Cedar Falls.

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