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Absentee ballots power Democrats to victory in Jasper County

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 11:44 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 11:46 a.m. CST

The presidential and congressional election results in Jasper County proved the power of the local Democratic Party’s early voting efforts.

With the votes tallied from Tuesday night’s General Election in all 20 precincts, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was ahead by about 800 votes. After more than 9,000 absentee ballots were counted, however, President Obama padded his Iowa lead by more than 1,400 votes.

Obama rolled on to a 303-206 Electoral College victory — with the results from Florida far from decided. Meanwhile, however, of the more than 112 million votes cast in the current election, Romney and Obama were separated by just 1.5 million, or roughly 1.3 percentage points.

Likewise, incumbent congressman Dave Loebsack, an Iowa City Democrat, was trailing challenger John Archer, a Bettendorf Republican, before the absentee ballots were added to the mix. Loebsack won Jasper County by 1,700 votes.

Down ballot, the story played out time and again: Republican leads were evaporated by an overwhelming number of absentee ballots cast in favor of Democrats. Absentee ballots accounted for nearly 43 percent of the total votes cast in the election.

The only race not decided by absentee ballots was the judicial retention vote for Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins. Prior to the tally of absentee ballots, the retention vote in Jasper County was 5,893 to 4,159; it was 8,849 to 8,069 against after the absentee ballots were counted.