Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

Cedar Rapids Run-Off Election: December 5, 2017

December 1, 2017

For more information, contact:

Becky Stonawski

Deputy Commissioner of Elections

(319) 892-5300, ext. 1



November 30, 2017

Cedar Rapids Run-Off Election: December 5, 2017

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – November 30, 2017 – The Cedar Rapids Run-Off Election will be held Tuesday, December 5, 2017. All voters living in Cedar Rapids will choose the next mayor. Voters living in Cedar Rapids District 5 will vote for both the mayor and District 5 City Council member.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Voters can find their polling place at:

The Linn County Auditor’s Office, located at 935 2nd St. SW in Cedar Rapids is open for in-person, absentee voting Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. In-person absentee voting ends Monday, December 4, 2017 at 5 p.m.

Voters may also request an absentee ballot by mail. Request forms for absentee ballots by mail must be received by Friday, December 1, 2017 at 5 p.m. Mailed absentee ballots must have a postmark of Monday, December 4, 2017 in order to be counted. They may also be hand-delivered to the Auditor’s Office by close of polls on Election Day.

New voters or people who have moved should take proof of ID and proof of residency to their polling location in order to vote on Election Day. Registered voters do not need ID until January 1, 2018.

On December 5, unofficial election results can be found at starting shortly after 8 p.m. and continuing until all precincts have reported.

The Linn County Board of Supervisors will canvass final results for Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, December 12 at 9 a.m.

Election Portal

Visit to gain access to all election-related information for Linn County. The following can be found at this website:

  • Absentee Ballot Request Forms
  • Election Day Information
  • Polling Locations
  • Sample Ballots
  • Voter Registration Forms

For additional information, please contact Linn County Election Services. Phone: 319-892-5300, ext. 1. Email: elections.



NEWS RELEASE: Absentee Voting Begins Monday, Nov. 20 for Cedar Rapids Run-off Election

November 17, 2017

For more information, contact:

Becky Stonawski

Deputy Commissioner of Elections

(319) 892-5300, ext. 1



November 17, 2017

Absentee Voting Begins Monday, November 20

Now Accepting Mailed Ballot Requests for Cedar Rapids Run-off Election

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – November 17, 2017 – Early, absentee voting begins Monday, November 20 in Linn County for the Cedar Rapids Run-off Election. This includes the races for Cedar Rapids mayor and Cedar Rapids Council Member for District 5.

Voting In-Person: Beginning Monday, November 20, 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. 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, December 4 in order to be counted.

Election Day: Election Day is Tuesday, December 5. All Cedar Rapids polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find your polling location, go to

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
11/20/2017 Absentee Voting to Begin
11/27/2017 Last Day to Pre-register to Vote for this Election
12/01/2017 Last Day to Request an Absentee Ballot to be Mailed
12/04/2017 Last Day to Vote Absentee (Auditor’s Office)
12/05/2017 Election Day

ASVP Board May Reconvene at Noon

12/12/2017 Canvass of Votes for Cedar Rapids (Tuesday after the Election)
12/14/2017 Deadline to Request a Recount

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


Abstract of votes: Cedar Rapids city election

November 9, 2017

Mr. Nick Weig of CBS2 requested the final certified vote count for candidates Monica Vernon and Brad Hart. The document certifying the exact counts is attached.

Linn County’s election results from year 2000 to the present (with the exception of today’s newly certified results) are posted at –Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor


Olson will not pursue recount

November 9, 2017

At 2:38pm today (11/9/2017), I called Cedar Rapids mayoral candidate Scott Olson. I informed Mr. Olson that the Linn County Board of Supervisors had certified the city election results and Brad Hart received sixty-eight (68) more votes than Mr. Olson.

I have been updating Mr. Olson on the status of provisional ballots and late arriving absentee ballots since the unofficial election results were posted on Tuesday night.

While talking with Mr. Olson a few minutes ago about the certified results, I advised him that the Linn County Auditor’s Office is unaware of any errors, omissions, or anomalies which could alter the 68 vote difference. Mr. Olson then advised me that he would not be pursuing a recount. Further, Mr. Olson indicated that I could share his decision with the public. –Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Mock election results for CR mayor

November 9, 2017

On Election Day (11/7/2017), students at Roosevelt Middle School in Cedar Rapids held a mock election for Cedar Rapids mayor. The students’ top voter getter differed substantially from Tuesday night’s final results.

Congratulations to the teachers and staff who sponsored this mock election! Congratulations to the students who conducted candidate research, a forum for candidates, and created campaign posters! I do not know how many “eligible” student voters participated, but I bet you put the adult eligible voter turnout to shame. – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Cedar Rapidians: Plan to vote in the 12/5 runoff election!

November 8, 2017

On 3 December 2013, a runoff election was held in the City of Cedar Rapids and 8.75% of the registered voters cast a ballot. Yesterday, 20.29% (unofficial) of the City’s registered voters cast a ballot. The irony in the 2013 Runoff is that the top vote getter (Swore) in the regular city election collected more votes (7,950) than were cast between the four candidates in the runoff (7,896). Maybe the framers of the Charter for the City of Cedar Rapids thought that less participation in a runoff was a great way for the runoff winners to begin their terms, but it is certainly no mandate by the voters.

Maybe Clark Rieke is right? He has been pushing instant runoff voting (IRV) aka ranked choice voting since I was nominated to run for county auditor in December of 2006. Maybe the Cedar Rapids Charter should be changed from a runoff election to a primary election? IRV is not an option in Iowa unless the Legislature changes our laws to allow it. And I do not see any incentive for a Charter Commission to change CR’s Charter. So what can I do to get every person engaged in local government?

The least I can do if to inform every household in the City of Cedar Rapids that we are having an election on December 5th. The Auditor’s Office will do that via the attached postcard or something similar. Far too often, eligible voters tell me that they did not know an election was coming. And who expects an election in December after Thanksgiving and before Christmas? We have not had an election in December in four years.

So I am going to bite the bullet and spend my budget on these postcards and hope the City of Cedar Rapids reimburses me for the cost. And if they do not, I will eat the cost.

My team and I are going to do our best to lower the obstacles to participate in the December 5th Cedar Rapids Runoff Election. You can do your part by voting early or on election day, and by encouraging your fellow Cedar Rapidians to vote. Please note, the decision to mail out these postcards is my decision and my decision alone. At this time, I have not received any requests or comments about the postcards because it was conceived by me. –Joel D. Miller – Linn County AuditorVision: Every person engaged in local government.

Cedar Rapids.pdf

CR Runoff Election 12-3-2013.pdf

City elections: What if an incumbent city council member is elected as mayor?

November 7, 2017

Cedar Rapids, Palo, and Alburnett have city council members running for mayor whose terms do not expire until 31 December 2019. If any of these council members are elected mayor, then their respective city councils will need to decide on how to fill the vacancy on the city council created by their election to mayor.

Please read the attachment for more details on the process. –Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

attachment 1.pdf

New! Free! Precinct election results reporting tool for tonight’s Metro area cities

November 7, 2017

One of my teammates created a precinct-by-precinct map of the Cedar Rapids metro area cities which will turn colors as precinct results are reported to our office – see The map will be active at 8:01pm tonight when the early voting / absentee precinct results are posted.

An off-the-shelf comparable product sells for about $15,000.oo Our map was created in-house so if works and sustains your use of it – hurray! Enjoy it! -Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Mayors versus city managers

October 20, 2017

I am not a resident of Cedar Rapids, but I attended the League of Women Voters Mayors Forum earlier this week. I left the forum wondering who I would vote for if I could vote for mayor in the Cedar Rapids election. I asked Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz who he is going to vote for. He just laughed.

So that got me to wondering. Several Linn County cities have city managers and city administrators, but in the majority of our cities the city clerks and/or mayors run the day-to-day operations of the cities. What qualifications are needed by a candidate elected to be the mayor of a city which has a city manager or city administrator?

Which cities have managers or administrators? I could not recall so I looked it up here and listed them below:

Alburnett – Mayor/city clerk

Bertram – Mayor / city clerk

Cedar Rapids – City Manager

Center Point – City Administrator

Central City – City Administrator

Coggon – Mayor / city clerk

Ely – City Administrator/city clerk

Fairfax – Mayor / city clerk

Hiawatha – City Administrator

Lisbon – City Administrator / city clerk

Marion – City Manager

Mount Vernon – City Administrator

Palo – Mayor / city clerk

Prairieburg – Mayor / city clerk

Robins – Mayor / city clerk

Springville – Mayor / city clerk

Walford – Mayor / city clerk

Walker – Mayor / city clerk

I am not saying the cities with managers or administrators do not have mayors, councils, or city clerks. I am saying that several cities have professional managers or professional administrators in addition to mayors, councils, and city clerks.

If a city has a professional manager or professional administrator, what qualifications does the mayor need to possess? I asked one of my doctors that question and he said, “He/she needs to be able to go to coffee with people, preside over council meetings, and have good customer service skills”. Maybe it is that simple? I would add leadership, vision, and the confidence to represent the city. But do they need a PhD and 20 years of management experience when a professional manager/administrator is in place? That is something for you to decide. Please figure it out by election day. –Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

More candidates means more early voting. Right?

October 19, 2017

Not necessarily.

Take a look at the graphs comparing the early voting for this year’s city elections with the early voting in the 2013 and 2015 city elections:



Those graphs illustrate the in-person early/absentee voting in the Auditor’s Office and the vote by mail ballots.

Generally, the more candidates, the more early voting. And while I appreciate the number of candidates who have decided to put their names on the ballots and engage the public on the issues, I am not seeing a stampede of voters voting early.

I think the reason for the lack of a stampede is this: great candidates equals tough decisions. That is a nice problem to have. Please figure it out by election day. –Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

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