Republican incumbents retain county, state, congressional offices

By 5 p.m. on Nov. 8, Election Day, a line of voters formed outside the Berndes Center. Shortly after, a deputy auditor arrived to filter people inside so they didn’t have to wait out in the cool weather. (Photos by Kim Brooks)

The voting booths were full after 5 p.m. as voters showed up en masse at the Berndes Center.

Monticello poll worker Deb Lacock assists Leslie Althoff as she feeds her ballot into the tabulator.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     County, state, and congressional incumbents in office retained their seats following the Nov. 8 Mid-term Election.

   Voter turnout in Jones County was 58.37 percent. There are 14,094 registered voters in the county; 8,226 people cast their ballots.

   As of Nov. 10, 2,379 absentee ballots were counted.

   While the turnout seems high, County Auditors and Commissioner of Elections Whitney Hein shared that it’s actually the lowest mid-term since 2014. Turnout in 2018 was at 63 percent. In 2014, it was at 57 percent; however, there were less registered voters in Jones County at the time.

   Turnout statewide was 54.85 percent. There are 2,234,666 registered voters in the State of Iowa; 1,225,797 ballots were cast.

   Secretary of State Paul Pate announced that this was Iowa’s second highest mid-term election turnout. The all-time high was in 2018.

   The following are major election results for county, state, and congressional races:

   Jon Zirkelbach, Republican, won for County Supervisor District 3 with 62.81 percent (5,070 votes). His opponent, Nick Manternach, Democrat, received 62.81 percent (2,988 votes).

   Ned Rohwedder, Republican, won for County Supervisor District 4 with 66.11 percent (5,305 votes). His opponent, Bob Gertsen, Democrat, received 33.80 percent (2,712 votes).

   Three county races only had one candidate running in each. Amy Picray, Republican, remains in office as treasurer with 98.90 percent (7,261 votes). There were 81 write-ins (1.10 percent). Sheri Jones, Republican, received 99.10 percent of the votes (1,190 votes) for recorder. There were 65 write-ins (.90 percent). Kristofer Lyons, no party, received 98.79 percent (6,520 votes) for county attorney. There were 80 write-ins (1.21 percent).

   Chuck Grassley, Republican, remains in office as U.S. Senator with 56 percent of the votes (678,738) over his Democrat opponent Michael Franken with 43.86 percent (531,589 votes).

   Following redistricting, there were new candidates running for U.S. Representative in District 1. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Republican, won with 53.28 percent (160,441 votes). Her opponent, Democrat Christina Bohannan received 46.63 percent (140,403 votes).

   In the six statewide executive branch races, the Republicans beat out their Democratic opponents. The only race that has yet to be called is for State Auditor, between Democrat Rob Sand with 50.10 percent (598,617 votes) and Republican Todd Halbur with 49.83 percent (595,448 votes).

   Republican Kim Reynolds was re-elected governor with 58.02 percent (706,299 votes). Democrat Deidre DeJear secured 39.55 percent (481,399 votes).

   Republican Paul Pate remains Secretary of State with 60.04 percent (720,395 votes). Democrat Joel Miller received 39.91 percent (478,857 votes).

   Roby Smith, Republican, received 51.25 percent (612,466 votes) to beat out incumbent Democrat Michael Fitzgerald with 48.70 percent (581,995 votes).

   Republican Brenna Bird also beat out her Democratic opponent and incumbent Tom Miller for Attorney General. Bird had 50.80 percent (608,947 votes); Miller, 49.13 percent (588,874 votes).

   Republican Mike Naig remains Secretary of Ag with 61.12 percent (727,414 votes). Democrat John Norwood received 38.82 percent (462,057 votes).

   In the Iowa Legislature, Republican Carrie Koelker won Senate District 33 with 65.83 percent (17,764 votes). Democrat Matt Robinson received 34.13 percent (9,209 votes).

   For Representative District 66, Republican Steve Bradley won with 65.27 percent (8,415 votes). Democrat Tony Amsler received 34.56 percent (4,456 votes).

   Also on the ballot was Iowa Constitutional Amendment 1, pertaining to “the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Iowa voters supported the amendment 65.13 percent to 34.87 percent.

   Hein noted that there no major issues in Jones County on Election Day.

   “The polls were really busy, and things went very smoothly,” she said.

   About 40 percent of all voters in Jones County showed up to vote between 4 and 8 p.m.

   “We had more people on Election Day register to vote or provide a change of address at the polls than we’ve ever seen in the past,” Hein reported, compared to handling that sort of business prior to Nov. 8.

   Hein noted while this type of business is OK to do on Election Day, it does slow things up for the poll workers and other voters.

   Residents could have registered 15 days prior (by Oct. 24) to the election. If you do so at the polls, you have to have documentation to prove you can legally vote.

   If someone can’t prove their residency at the polls, they either need to have someone attest for them or fill out a provisional ballot.

   “Poll workers try to exhaust all avenues to avoid a provisional ballot,” Hein said.

   Jones County only had one provisional ballot cast, meaning the voter had to provide proof of residency to the Auditor’s Office by noon on Monday, Nov. 14.

   “A lot of planning and preparation goes into the Primary Election and General Election,” Hein said of all the staff, poll workers, and precinct officials.

   There were 42 poll workers, eight special precinct board workers, three substitutes, and two equipment delivery workers.


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