DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Polls have opened Tuesday for those who are opting for traditional Election Day voting after Iowans cast roughly a million ballots early.

Polls opened at about 1,200 polling places at 7 a.m. and voting will continue until 9 p.m.

The Secretary of State’s Office reports that just over 2 million Iowa residents are registered to vote, and about half of them already cast an absentee ballot.

The number of polling places is down from about 1,450 in the 2018 election as counties closed and consolidated some locations because of health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic as well as budget issues. People can check their polling place locations online at Voterready.iowa.gov.

Secretary of State Paul Pate said his office would ensure polling places are kept safe by distributing 145,000 gloves, 200,000 masks and 11,000 social distancing markers for use by voters and poll workers.

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