Combined election has a smooth rollout, but unintended consequence

 Additional reporting by Bridget Shileny, Wright County Monitor

    The 2020 elections may be demanding the attention of the nation, but, in Iowa, last week's off-year election was a landmark in the way the state votes.

    For the first time across the state, Iowa voters made their choices on both city council elections and school board elections at the same time.

    In the past, city and school board elections have been done at separate times, with school board elections being held in September, however in 2017 the Iowa legislature passed a bill to combine them in an effort to increase participation and reduce costs.

    Voters may not have noticed any substantial changes from their side of the booth, but preparing for this year's election has been a huge undertaking for county auditors across the state.

    "We started working on this last February," said Franklin County Auditor Michelle Giddings.  

    County Auditors spent the year pouring over maps of cities and school districts to determine where every voter would need to go to vote and make sure voters would receive the appropriate ballot when they got there.

    "Most precincts are used to having one or two ballot styles," said Hardin County Auditor Jessica Lara. "I had some this time that had seven ballot styles that they had to handle and give to the right voters." 

    New database systems had to be built from the ground up to track and record the combined ballots, which meant testing everything to make sure the voting machines were ready for the election.


For the full story, see this week's Monitor

Wright County Monitor

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Clarion, IA 50525
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