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Dallas County Democrats make final push with yard sign drive-thru

Sean Cordy
Correspondent
Local candidate Sarah Trone Garriott (Senate District 22) helps hand out yard signs to area residents during a drive-thru event on Monday, Oct. 26 in Waukee.

Dallas County Democrats saw 15,662 votes go to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, ultimately losing by almost 3,000 votes to President Donald Trump. This year, the county's Democrats anticipate even bigger numbers in their favor, and they're looking to make sure as many people know what box to check on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at the polls.

On Monday, Oct. 26, Dallas County Democrats Chair Bryce Smith and a number of local candidates handed out signs at Centennial Park in Waukee to help campaign for their party's candidates with a week remaining before the election. Passing along yard signs down the home stretch is par for the course, but like much of the year, an audible was called to pass out materials via a drive-thru to abide by coronavirus guidelines.

Biden-Harris signs are ready to be handed out by the Dallas County Democrats and local candidates during a drive-thru event on Monday, Oct. 26 in Waukee's Centennial Park.

While plenty of Joe Biden/Kamala Harris signs were handed out, local candidates like Sarah Trone Garriott (Senate District 22) had only a few signs remaining to hand out after seeing most of their signs go up in yards over the past few months. Garriott was one of the handful of hopefuls passing out signs, as was Warren Varley (Senate District 10) and Larry Lyon (county board supervisor).

"A lot of our local candidates, a lot of them are fairly new. So they aren't on TV, they aren't on the radio," Smith said. "So yard signs are a great way to build name recognition. When you see that name and then you're looking at the ballot, that could be a big part of it."

If you've noticed an influx in signs of Democrats driving through Dallas Country, that's no coincidence. Since the election cycle of 2016, the county has seen over 6,500 more registered Democrats move to the area- three times the amount of growth seen by independents or Republicans as the county has boomed in overall population.

Dallas County Democrats Chair Bryce Smith rolls up a sign for a resident during the drive-thru sign event on Monday, Oct. 26 in Centennial Park in Waukee.

Smith said along with the party's growth in the area, he's also happy to see the early voting turnout. As of Oct. 24, the number of registered party members that have voted early has already reached the total turnout from 2016. How much early votes were affected by COVID-19 concerns remains to be seen or if in-person voting will also rise.

More:Dallas County voting information released for Nov. 3 General Election

With the finish line fast approaching, Smith added the main focus of the county's coalition is to make sure "everyone who has requested an absentee ballot has gotten one mailed to them" and to make sure they get it mailed back as soon as possible. While Friday is not the last day to mail ballots, Smith advised that as the last day to ensure your vote is counted by the auditor's office before Election Day.

To find your precinct or polling place, visit https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/VoterReg/PollingPlace/search.aspx. If you have requested an absentee ballot, votes will count for ballots postmarked no later than Nov. 2.