By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
After Alliant Energy line crew members left for the East Coast to help repair the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, some of them realized they hadn’t voted and wouldn’t be home in time to cast ballots.
While the 110 crew members, 80 of whom are from Iowa, worked 16-hour days Alliant worked to get them absentee ballots and a chance to still cast a vote.
“Our employees were asking, so we did everything we could to support them,” Alliant spokesman Justin Foss said. “We just knew this is something we needed to do.”
According to Foss, the company worked with a New York law firm to send and receive the absentee ballots in less than a week without violating election laws. They also worked with the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office and county auditors, who oversee elections. Iowa Director of Elections Sarah Reisetter praised Alliant.
“Obviously, as an election official, we encourage everyone to vote. So, we applaud the employers’ efforts to make sure the employees could vote,” Reisetter said.
Of the 80 Iowans dispatched who had not voted, one was from Clinton County.
“It was nice to be able to get that to him,” Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker said. “Kudos to Alliant not only for helping, but for making sure folks could vote while they’re out there.”
The ballots were shipped overnight to county auditors’ offices on Sunday in time to make the deadline.