Thanks to so many for a successful Presidential Election season

Letter to the Editor

To the citizens of Jones County,

     I’d like to take this occasion to publicly thank the many people in Jones County that came together to provide the citizens in Jones County the opportunity to exercise their right to vote. A very special thank you to my very dedicated and knowledgeable staff that help keep our operation running smoothly each and every day with a variety of duties serving the citizens of Jones County: Gwyn Gapinski, Kim Sorgenfrey, Michele Lubben, Vicki Starn, and Glenda Thielen. Thank you to our additional temporary staff that helped us make it through the huge increase in absentee voting this year: Barb Lerch, Deb Hardersen, and Grace Lubben. And thank you to our Information Technology and GIS staff, Lisa Mootz and Kristi Aitchison, who stepped in without hesitation wherever and whenever we needed them. To our equipment delivery crew, Don Folkerts and Kevin Sulzner, thank you for the heavy lifting and dealing with the ever changing and increasing list of equipment and materials to be delivered to all of the voting sites.

     And certainly, thank you to our front-line election day officials. The 50 bi-partisan precinct officials who worked over 16 hours on Election Day to serve the voters of Jones County – 50 of your friends and neighbors who understand the importance of this duty and opportunity, and were willing to serve even during this pandemic. Thank you to the bi-partisan Special Precinct Board – 12 of your friends and neighbors who were tasked with opening and processing over 6,100 absentee ballots over the course of two full days to make sure every eligible vote was counted, and that results were tabulated on time. Some members even came back on the Monday after the election to determine the eligibility of provisional, challenged, and late absentee ballots, and then counting those found eligible.

     To our custodial, law enforcement, county attorney, and emergency management staff, thank you for assisting with the various behind the scenes aspects of election services.

I also want to thank the courthouse staff, elected officials, and board members, for accommodating our need to take over almost every available space at the courthouse over the past six weeks to prepare for this election and to provide in-person absentee voting opportunities at the courthouse to the citizens of Jones County.

     And finally, to the citizens of Jones County, thank you for exercising your right to vote, and setting an all-time high voter participation record for Jones County with over 78 percent of registered voters casting ballots, with over 55 percent of those voting by absentee ballot.

     On Friday, Nov. 6, a team of five election officials, a bi-partisan mix of precinct officials and special precinct board members, conducted a required hand-counted audit of the votes for president from the Monticello polling place (randomly selected by the Iowa Secretary of State). The hand counted audit results matched 100 percent to the election night machine tabulated totals.

     It has been a privilege to serve as your elected Jones County Auditor for the past 26 years, and four and a half years prior to that as an office deputy. Many things in election administration and county government have changed over the past 30-plus years, some more dramatically than others. I appreciate the support you have given me over the past 30-plus years, and trust that you will support our new Auditor, Whitney Hein, as she learns her duties and implements new changes.


Janine Sulzner

Jones County Auditor

& Commissioner of Elections


Subscriber Login