Early voting in Linn County – nothing to get excited about

May 14, 2018

Early (absentee) voting in Linn County does not appear to be setting any records with three weeks to go until the June 5th primary election. As usual, the 50 and older voters are the most active – see attachments.

You can find other statistics on the upcoming primary and other elections at http://www.linncounty.org/157

Think about where you are going to be on June 5th. Think about the condition of your health. Think about whether you have an ID that you can present at the polls. And consider if early voting might be in your best interests. Hopefully, I will see you at the polls! Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor




NEWS RELEASE: Linn County Accepting Applications for Economic Development Funds

May 11, 2018


May 11, 2018

For more information, contact:

Joi Alexander

Communications Director

(319) 892-5118


Linn County Accepting Applications for Economic Development Funds

LINN COUNTY, IA – May 11, 2018 – The Linn County Board of Supervisors is now accepting applications from organizations seeking economic development funding from Linn County. The economic development fund is used to enhance the quality of life throughout Linn County by fostering and supporting economic growth.

This is a competitive grant process open to organizations located in Linn County or that have a branch location in Linn County. This year $140,000 is available. Grant funds must be used for projects or programs that benefit Linn County residents. Preferred applications will be for projects/programs that accomplish the following:

· Promote economic growth for Linn County

· Demonstrate return on investment dollars

· Do not duplicate current economic development initiatives

· Demonstrate a sustainability plan for project continuation beyond Linn County funding

The application deadline is Friday, June 29, 2018 at 4 p.m. Application information can be found on Linn County’s website www.linncounty.org.


Campaigning during office hours

May 9, 2018

Is it ethical for elected officials who claim they work 40 hours a week, e.g., county supervisors, to campaign during business hours?  I think the law allows it, but who has time to follow us around to see how we are spending our time during the day?

But campaigning for one elected office during office hours while holding another elected office has been a common complaint of taxpayers for generations.  Everyone can likely think of a member of Congress who got elected and within a year or two decided to run for President.  I have often heard the question:  How are they representing me in Congress when they are never there to cast a vote?

So with that complaint in mind, I am going to try to do something that I am not required to do.  I am going to try to NOT conduct any activity which the public would consider a campaign activity when the Office of Linn County Auditor is open for business.  The exception will be the lunch hour, i.e., Noon to 1pm.

To do the preceding, I am going to need the public’s assistance and understanding.  For example, if you are a member of the news media and you want an interview related to my campaign for county supervisor, then please plan on doing the interview before 8am or over my lunch hour or after 5pm, or on the weekend.  The same times apply to returning phone calls and replying to emails related to my campaign.

I have a full-time job to do as county auditor.  Observing the preceding self-imposed rules allows me to balance my duties as auditor with my campaign for supervisor.  And it is ethical.  Now, if everyone will just cooperate.  Paid for by Miller for the People.

Let’s get tough on cybersecurity for elections now

May 7, 2018

I don’t believe in asking for permission when the Iowa Legislature has already given me the power and/or the duty to get the job done.  That’s why I’m questioning why Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate @IowaSOS is slow to push for cybersecurity relating to Iowa’s elections infrastructure.  Please recall Iowa was targeted, but not hacked in 2016 – close to 2 years ago.

The Iowa Official Register states:  Secretary Pate is the Chief Elections Officer for Iowa.  Secretary Pate is also the chairman of the bipartisan Voters Registration Commission. The commission oversees policies and procedures related to Iowa’s voter registration system.

The 2013-2014 edition of the Register indicates the Secretary of State “… prescribes uniform election practices and procedures.”  This is accomplished via Chapter 721 of the Iowa Administrative Code, which gives the Secretary the authority to mandate requirements or fill in the gaps when the Legislature has not been specific enough to ensure uniformity among, e.g., Iowa’s 99 county commissioners of elections.

In a face-to-face meeting on 5/4/2018, I asked Secretary Pate to mandate two things:

1> Require all counties accessing the statewide voter registration system to meet minimum cybersecurity standards; and

2>  Require all users of the statewide voter registration system to complete Securing the Human training which is offered for free by the State.

It’s not enough for the Secretary and his staff to talk about “best practices” related to elections infrastructure.  It’s time to start mandating minimum requirements for the devices and people accessing Iowa elections infrastructure.

The June primary election is less than 30 days away.  The general election is less than 6 months away.  “Secretary Pate!  Let’s get tough on cybersecurity for elections now!”  – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Joel D. Miller – a biography by Rick Smith

May 7, 2018

Joel D. Miller is the elected county auditor in Linn County, Iowa’s second-largest county and home to the state’s second-largest city, Cedar Rapids.

Miller has occupied the post since early 2007 when he won a special election to fill a vacancy. He was easily reelected in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Now, in 2018, he is running for one of three seats on the Linn County Board of Supervisors, whose policies he has not been bashful about questioning and challenging from time to time.

A most recent case in point: Miller said the board erred when it handpicked a contractor to build the county’s new $28.7-million public health building. The board should have taken sealed, competitive bids, Miller said.

In his election run for supervisor, Miller has changed his party affiliation from Democrat to no-party to make the point that county elections in Iowa, like city elections, should be non-partisan.

Miller’s first foray into elective office came in 2001 when he was elected to the non-partisan Robins City Council. He was reelected in 2003 and was elected as Robins’ part-time mayor in 2005. This meant that he held two elected offices, county auditor and Robins mayor, for 10 months in 2007. 

Continue reading …. 

Paid for by Joel D. Miller of Robins, Iowa

NEWS RELEASE: Early Voting Begins Monday, May 7 for the Primary Election

May 4, 2018

For more information, contact:

Becky Stonawski

Deputy Commissioner of Elections

(319) 892-5300, ext. 1



Friday, May 4, 2018

Early Voting Begins Monday, May 7 for the Primary Election

LINN COUNTY, IA – May 4, 2018 – Early, absentee voting begins Monday, May 7, 2018 for the Partisan Primary Elections.

About This Election

In Iowa, county commissioners of elections are responsible for administering Primary Elections for the Democratic, Libertarian, and Republican Parties. These elections are a nomination process whereby each party nominates individuals to be the party’s candidate on the General Election ballot. Therefore, winners of a Primary Election race do not win election to office, but win a nomination to move on to the General Election.

Primary Elections in Iowa are “closed” Primaries. This means that there are three elections happening on the same day – one for Democrats, one for Libertarians and one for Republicans. A voter must declare a party before being issued a ballot. To “declare,” a voter simply needs to indicate, on an Absentee Ballot Request Form or at the polls, which party’s ballot they want. A voter cannot be issued a ballot from more than one party. A voter’s party affiliation is updated in state records if any changes are made.

Voting In-Person:

Beginning Monday May 7, individuals may vote in-person at the Election Services Department of the Auditor’s Office. The office is located in the Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd St. SW in Cedar Rapids. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Voting by Mail:

Voters may also request to have an absentee ballot mailed to them. Absentee requests must be received by Friday, May 25. These voters may return their ballot by mail or hand-deliver their ballot to the Election Services Department. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Monday, June 4 in order to be counted.

Election Portal:

Go to www.LinnCountyElections.org to gain access to all election-related information for Linn County.

Dates & Deadlines

Due Date Event / Deadline
5/07/2018 Absentee Voting to Begin
5/25/2018 Last Day to Pre-register to Vote for this Election
5/25/2018 Last Day to Receive Requests for an Absentee Ballot to be Mailed
6/2/2018 Auditor’s Office Open for Absentee Voting – Saturday
6/4/2018 Last Day to Vote Absentee (Auditor’s Office)

Election Day

6/12/2018 CountyCanvass of Votes

For questions regarding this election, call the Linn County Election Services Office at (319) 892-5300, ext. 1 or email elections.

What do elections cost?

April 20, 2018

On April 3rd, elections were held for the City of Alburnett, the Alburnett School District, and the Mount Vernon School District. The overall cost per vote for the elections was $8.03 per vote – see attachment.

Per Code of Iowa section 47.3 paragraph 2: The county commissioner of elections shall certify to the county board of supervisors a statement of cost for an election. The cost shall be assessed by the county board of supervisors against the political subdivision for which the election was held.

As the data in the Statement indicates, the Office of Linn County Auditor cannot charge the cities and schools for 100% of the costs of an election, i.e., the Auditor’s Office absorbed about 25% of the costs for these elections.

Our Office has a vested interest in any election that occurs, which is why we work hard to increase voter turnout, which in turn lowers the cost per vote. So why not vote the next time you have chance? Paid for by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Cost to taxpayers for this post = $0.oo

4-25 Statement of Election Costs 040318.pdf

Voter Ready Toolkit Update

April 10, 2018

The Secretary of State’s Office issued the press release below. If you would like a someone from Linn County Elections to speak to your group about being Voter Ready, please fill out a request form here. Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office has developed a free educational toolkit for groups and organizations like yours to utilize to inform your members about recent changes to Iowa election laws. We are offering you access to these educational materials so that you can help us spread the word and make sure your members are #VoterReady.

The toolkit is now available for your use at this link http://www.voterreadytoolkit.com/ . To sign in, simply click “New User” and sign in using your email address as your username. You will receive an email asking you to reset your password.

All of the materials contained in the electronic toolkit are downloadable. Tools include:

  • Voter Integrity rack card
  • Email templates
  • News release templates
  • Power point templates
  • Sample social media messages
  • FAQ sheets
  • Infographics
  • Samples of the Voter ID card and envelope

Office of Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate • State Capitol • Des Moines, IA 50319

NEWS RELEASE: Polls to Open 7 a.m. April 3 for Special Elections

April 2, 2018


April 2, 2018

For more information, contact:

Becky Stonawski

Deputy Commissioner of Elections

(319) 892-5300, ext 1


Polls to Open 7 a.m. April 3

for City of Alburnett, Alburnett Community School District, and Mount Vernon Community School District Special Election

LINN COUNTY, IA — With the potential for snow in tomorrow’s forecast, Linn County Election Services is reminding residents that polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 3 for the Special Election for the City of Alburnett, Alburnett Community School District, and Mount Vernon Community School District.

The polling location for both the City of Alburnett and Alburnett Community School District Elections is Alburnett United Methodist Church. It is located at 221 S Main Ave. in Alburnett.

The polling location for Mount Vernon Community School District is Mount Vernon City Hall. It is located at 213 1st St. NW in Mount Vernon.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Should winter weather impact our area, voters are advised to exercise caution while driving and leave ample driving time.

For questions regarding this election, call Linn County Election Services at (319) 892-5300, ext 1. ###

HELP WANTED: Deputy Director of Linn County Conservation

February 21, 2018

Jobs in conservation are few and far between so if you are qualified, you should apply now because this job likely won’t be offered again for another 5 to 25 years. Apply online at www.linncounty.org (Job Opportunities). The deadline for this position is Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. –Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor


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