Absentee ballot returns set county record

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Jones County Auditor’s Office stays busy with absentee ballots coming back in droves.

     County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections Janine Sulzner provided the Jones County Supervisors with an update during their Oct. 13 board meeting. So far, 4,100 absentee ballots had been issued. Sulzner said 40 percent of those have been filled out and returned.

     “That breaks our record as of today,” she noted. “Our drop box is getting a ton of use (located in the courthouse parking lot).”

     The Auditor’s Office checks the drop box five times a day due to the overflow of absentee ballots coming in.

     Supervisor Wayne Manternach asked about the legality of drop boxes. Sulzner explained that some counties had drop boxes at “all kinds of places,” which became problematic for voters.

     “The law doesn’t specifically provide for a drop box,” she said. “But it’s an extension of our office and it must be on county property, property where the Auditor’s Office is (located).”

     The drop box in the courthouse parking lot is under 24/7 surveillance.

In other county business:

     The board approved an interfund transfer of $89,500 from the General Fund and $1,127,500 from the Rural Services Fund, all to the Secondary Road Fund.

     This is the first half of the Secondary Road transfer from property taxes.

     • Conservation Ranger John Klein provided the board with an update on derecho debris cleanup of Grant Wood Memorial Park.

     The contractor completed the initial job for $2,500, the FEMA reimbursement threshold is $3,100 for small storm projects.

     Klein did offer additional projects that could pair with the debris cleanup to meet the guidelines, such as fence repair and removal of a tree close to the fence line.

     The supervisors were on board with tearing out the old tree, but felt the replacement of the fence needed to go before the Preservation Commission first.

     • E911 Coordinator Gary Schwab presented a request to the board for name changes to streets located within the Greenacres Subdivision in Lovell Township. The board approved changing Valerie Road and Beth Avenue to 144th Avenue.

     • The board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Iowa OCIO (Office of the Chief Information Officer) for cybersecurity services for the county.


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