ANKENY, Iowa — With an important voting deadline looming, a group in Ankeny is cutting out the middle man to help speed up the voting process in Polk County.

“This year, there has been so much turmoil and argument that we wanted to make sure the bedrock principal of democracy, which is voting, is protected,” said Karl Goodman, the 1st Vice-Chair of the Ankeny Area Democrats.

The Ankeny Area Democrats spent Saturday in the DMACC parking lot accepting mail-in ballot requests and placing them in a secure box. They would later take directly to the Polk County Auditor’s office in Des Moines before the 5 p.m. ballot request deadline.

With numerous voting deadlines approaching, the event helped take the worry out of the voters’ hands and allow their voices to be heard at the polls faster. All voters had to do was pull their vehicle into the parking lot and drop off their ballot requests or completed election ballot.

While these volunteers were Democrats, their goal was to help anyone, no matter their political affiliation. Goodman said, “The main goal is just to make sure everyone is able to vote. It’s very difficult this year with COVID, so anyone who brings a ballot, we will make sure it is treated equally and brought in to the Polk County Auditor’s office.”

Absentee ballots must be received no later than noon on Election Day Nov. 3. The Ankeny Area Democrats will host the same event for completed election ballots on Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the same Ankeny DMACC parking lot.