Questions go unanswered regarding Nov. 3 election

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     County Auditor Janine Sulzner, Commissioner of Elections, reported at the Sept. 1 Jones County Supervisor meeting that there have already been 1,900 requests for absentee ballots.

     While those ballots cannot be issued until Oct. 5 at the earliest, Sulzner said so many legal issue have risen surrounding the Nov. 3 election, causing voter confusion.

     Three counties in Iowa (Linn, Woodbury, and Johnson) have issued absentee ballot forms for voters in those counties, but the forms were pre-filled out with each voter’s personal information.

     “There’s some legal action going on,” she said. “They’re not supposed to do that,” she added of the action of pre-filling out the forms.

     Each of those three counties were taken to court, with different action taken on each. For instance, Linn County can no longer honor 50,000 absentee ballot forms.

     “They have to notify voters and issue new forms,” Sulzner said.

     Unfortunately, Sulzner said election commissioners like herself aren’t hearing much in terms of direction from Secretary of State Paul Pate.

     Jones County did not send out absentee ballot forms, so Sulzner said Jones County voters have nothing to be worried or suspicious about.

     There has also been talk about the legality of ballot drop-boxes in neighboring counties. Sulzner said having the drop box out in front of the courthouse on county property should not be an issue.

     “You can use a drop box as long as it’s on county property,” Sulzner shared. “It’s under 24/7 surveillance.” However, she said there has not been direction of Pate or his office.

     “A lot of things are up in the air now,” she warned. “It all very unfortunate.”

     Sulzner did say she reached out to those precinct officials who worked during the June primary, and all have agreed to return for the Nov. 3 election.


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