Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

Upcoming city candidate forums – an opportunity to engage candidates

October 10, 2017

Here is a link to a list of city candidate forums to be held in Linn County – If you are aware of additional forums or you spot errors/omissions in the list, please email me. – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor


Absentee voting begins Monday, October 9 for regular city elections

October 4, 2017

For more information, contact:

Becky Stonawski

Deputy Commissioner of Elections

(319) 892-5300, ext. 1



October 4, 2017

Absentee Voting Begins Monday, October 9 for Regular City Elections

LINN COUNTY, IA – October 4, 2017 – Early, absentee voting begins Monday, Oct. 9 in Linn County for the Regular City Elections. Linn County administers elections for 17 cities.

Voting In-Person:

Beginning Monday, Oct. 9, 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, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Voting by Mail:

Voters may also request to have an absentee ballot mailed to them. 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, Nov. 6, 2017 in order to be counted.

Election Portal:

Go to to gain access to all election-related information for Linn County. The following can be viewed or downloaded:

· Absentee Ballot Request Forms

· Absentee Voting Opportunities

· Election Day Information

· Polling Locations

· Sample Ballots

· Voter Registration Forms

Dates & Deadlines

Due Date Event / Deadline
10/9/2017 Absentee Voting to Begin
10/9/2017 Deadline to Receive Petitions for Satellite Voting
10/27/2017 Last Day to Pre-register to Vote for this Election
11/3/2017 Last Day to Request an Absentee Ballot to be Mailed
11/6/2017 Last Day to Vote Absentee (Auditor’s Office)

Election Day

11/8/2017 ASVP Board Must Reconvene (at noon for Cedar Rapids)
11/9/2017 Canvass of Votes for Cedar Rapids (Thursday after the Election)
11/10/2017 Deadline to Request a Recount for Cedar Rapids
11/14/2017 County Canvass of Votes for Remaining Cities
11/17/2017 Deadline to Request a Recount for Remaining Cities

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


Russian agents tried to hack Iowa

September 25, 2017

Want to create havoc during the upcoming 2018 gubernatorial election? Hack into the statewide voter registration system and randomly delete a mere 10,000 active voters.

Imagine your grandparents showing up to vote as they have for 50 years and being told they are not registered to vote? Think lines, think anger, think confusion… and think frustrated voters leaving the polls without voting. “Mission accomplished” – way to go ‘bad actor’!

I hired ProCircular to conduct a cybersecurity audit of Linn County Election Services; I have sent staff to cybersecurity training and conferences; and I have and I am attending cybersecurity training and conferences, e.g., at this week’s Iowa Technology Summit.

What is the Iowa Secretary of State doing to keep our election systems safe? Has he hired outside “white hat” firms to audit our election systems? 2016 safeguards – see attached – are not going to be good enough in 2018. What’s the plan? Is there a plan? -Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor


Security Update from DHS re Iowa Elections

September 22, 2017

Yesterday (9/21/2017), I asked Iowa’s Director of Homeland Security if Iowa was one of the 21 states supposedly hacked by the Russians during the 2016 national election. The Director would neither confirm nor deny that Iowa was hacked. I tweeted about my exchange with the Director.

Today (9/22/2017), I received a non-confidential public record – the email below – assuring me and my fellow county auditors that Iowa’s election system was not hacked. Did the Feds really take ten (10) months to tell the Iowa Secretary of State that we were not hacked?

The timing of the email below versus my questions yesterday make me a little suspicious. I am glad to finally get an answer in writing, but do you believe in coincidences? – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

From: Olson, Carol [SOS] []
Sent: Friday, September 22, 2017 3:54 PM
To: Iowa’s County Auditors

Subject: Security Update from DHS re Iowa Elections


Secretary Pate requested that I provide you this information.

Following months of requests from chief state election officials, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finally today called all 56 U.S. jurisdictions to provide one-on-one notification on the status of security scans on their election systems. I am pleased to report to you that DHS affirmed that there has been no unauthorized intrusion, no “breach,” into any Iowa election system.

IVoters remains secure, as is the remainder of Iowa’s election and voter registration systems.

Please be aware that malicious actors continually scan public facing internet sites for opportunities to “break in.” Iowa has, and certainly will continue to be, the target of such scans. While we remain ever vigilant, we are also very confident that our systems are secure from malicious actors.

Have a great weekend.

Carol Olson –

Deputy Secretary of State

Office of Iowa Secretary of State Paul D. Pate

NEWS RELEASE: Linn County Auditor Refers Double Voting Suspects to Local and Federal Authorities

July 7, 2017

For more information, contact:

Joel Miller

Linn County Auditor

(319) 892-5333



July 7, 2017

Linn County Auditor Refers Double Voting Suspects to Local and Federal Authorities

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – July 7, 2017 – Yesterday (July 6, 2017), Linn County Auditor Joel D. Miller, issued a letter to the Linn County Attorney’s Office and the FBI requesting that they follow-up on five (5) cases of suspected double-voting in the November 2016 election. Miller defines double-voting as one voter casting two ballots in two separate voting jurisdictions for the same election day. Double-voting could be a felony under Iowa and/or Federal laws.

The Auditor’s Office became aware of the suspected double-voting as a result of an annual cross-state match of voting records between Iowa and other states. These records were received from the Iowa Secretary of State about one week ago and the compare and verification process took a few days to complete.

Auditor Miller said, “I pointed out to the various officials that time is of the essence in following up on my referrals due to an upcoming August 1st election, as well as, other elections in September and November. If these voters did break the law, then they should not have the opportunity to vote in any future elections.”

Three of the suspects cast ballots in Iowa and Arkansas; one suspect cast ballots in Iowa and Nebraska; and one suspect cast ballots in Iowa and South Carolina. Three of the suspects are women and two are men. Three of the suspects currently own real estate in Linn County. The youngest suspect is 41 and the oldest is 66.


Kirkwood Community College director districts

June 26, 2017

Ever think about learning more about Kirkwood Community College (KCC)? KCC has a board of directors like school districts in Iowa; however, it cover a multi-county area – see Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe KCC is the third largest college in the State of Iowa based upon number of enrolled students.

The map/app contains the following layers:

· Counties: Outline of the counties in the Kirkwood area;

· School Districts;

· General Election Precincts based upon 2012 Redistricting; and

· Kirkwood Director Districts: Kirkwood Director Districts created from the school districts layer while referencing the director district internal boundaries.

The election of KCC district directors occurs on the school election ballots in the counties comprising KCC. – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

We are going to get sued

June 9, 2017

Governing magazine does a great job of gleaning news stories (see below) from around the country.  I have been reading the majority of its stories related to voter ID laws.

Even though Iowa’s recently signed Voter ID law was said to be put together to avoid the litigation occurring in other states, I have concluded – based upon the various legal challenges occurring in other states – that some county auditors – likely the Polk, Linn, and/or Johnson County Auditors – are going to get sued over the new Voter ID laws we are now responsible for administering.

I believe every county auditor in Iowa will make best efforts to keep any eligible voter from being disenfranchised on Election Day.  I believe that no matter how hard we try, our public education efforts on the new Voter ID law will not reach everyone.  And finally, I believe the end result will be that someone’s ballot, which would have been counted under the old laws, will not be counted under the new Voter ID law.

So if one voter impersonation case in the last decade or two was the motivator to change our election laws this year, then it’s reasonable to foresee that one voter, disenfranchised by the new Voter ID law, will be the motivator for someone to file a lawsuit against a county and/or the State in the future.  –Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor



Learn how the new Voter ID law will affect you

May 19, 2017

If you did not attend our open houses on the new Voter ID law earlier this week, then you will have another opportunity to see our presentation at 9am on Monday, May 22nd, during the Linn County Board of Supervisors meeting – see attached agenda. The Board meetings are open to the public and Election Services employees will be around after the presentation to answer your questions. Please join us. –Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

5-22 Board of Supervisors Agenda.pdf

NEWS RELEASE: Linn County Temporary Redistricting Commission Appointed

May 17, 2017

Linn County Temporary Redistricting Commission Appointed

LINN COUNTY, IA – May 17, 2017 – A five-member temporary redistricting commission was appointed this week by the Linn County Board of Supervisors. Iowa code instructs the Board of Supervisors to establish the Commission by May 15, 2017 following the November 2016 election where Linn County voters voted to reduce the membership of the Linn County Board of Supervisors from five to three.

According to Iowa code, the members of the Board of Supervisors in the majority party appoint the majority number of commission members, while the Board minority party member(s) appoints the minority number of commission members.

The temporary redistricting commission members are:

Ray Dochterman

Cindy Golding

Sarah Halbrook

Dave Mahachek

Nate Willems

Linn County is currently represented by Board of Supervisor districts under “Plan 3”. According to Iowa code, new supervisor districts must be designated by December 15, 2017, unless a valid petition is filed by June 1, 2017 requesting a special election on the representation plan.

All three supervisor seats will be on the ballot during the general election in November 2018. The three member Board of Supervisors will take office January 2, 2019.

For more information, contact:  Barbara Schmitz – Executive Assistant to the Board of Supervisors – 319-892-5101 –


Learn about the new Voter ID law now

May 16, 2017
Today, over 100 people attended an informational session on the new Voter ID law. We have additional one hour sessions available on Wednesday, May 17th from 3 – 6 PM and on Thursday, May 18th from 4 – 7 PM.

These informational sessions cover the new Voter ID law, ePollbooks, as well as, information on the 2016 General Election and upcoming Elections. Sessions are targeted for current and prospective Precinct Election Officials (poll workers), the public, elected officials, and the media. Sessions will be held at the Linn County Public Service Center at 935 2nd Ave SW on the 2nd floor across from the main Elections Office.

You do not need to be present for the whole three hours. It is a drop-in and look around event. Someone will be speaking at 15 minutes after the hour. We are encouraging interested individuals to sign up at: so that we can better plan for how many to expect. Please join us. –Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

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