Archive for the ‘Press release’ Category

NEWS RELEASE: Primary Election: Absentee Ballots and Early, In-Person Voting

April 24, 2020

For more information, contact:

Rebecca Stonawski

Deputy Commissioner of Elections

319-892-5300, ext. 1

elections

Primary Election: Absentee Ballots and Early, In-Person Voting

County Offices to Appear on the 2020 Primary Election Ballot

LINN COUNTY, IA – April 23, 2020 – The Linn County Auditor’s Office has received over 10,000 absentee request forms for the June 2 Primary. This far surpasses recent primary elections.

In the 2018 Primary, 1,520 absentee ballots were requested. In the 2016 Primary, 2,075 absentee ballots were requested.

The Auditor’s Office will be mailing the first 5,274 absentee ballots today, Thursday, April 23. Another 5,000 are expected by the end of next week.

Auditor Joel Miller states, “We appreciate the community’s responsible choice to vote from home. We encourage voters to request an absentee ballot, and we appreciate their patience as we process these requests.”

In-person, absentee voting will also be available at a drive-through location near the Linn County Public Service Center at 823 3rd St SW in Cedar Rapids. Voters will be processed curbside. This early voting option will be available May 4-June 1, 2020 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and on Saturday, May 30.

Due to COVID-19, election day polling locations will be reduced to 19 sites. In mid-May, the Linn County Auditor’s Office will send a postcard mailer to all registered households in Linn County indicating their temporary, combined voting locations. Voters may also view their temporary voting location by entering their address at: www.linncountyelections.org/lookup

Additional information may be found at LinnCounty.org/Vote.

For questions regarding this election, call the Linn County Election Services Office at 319-892-5300, ext. 1 or email elections Posted by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections

NEWS RELEASE: Absentee Voting Begins Monday, February 10 for Alburnett Community School District and College Community School District Special Elections

February 6, 2020

For more information, contact:

Rebecca Stonawski

Deputy Commissioner of Elections

319-892-5300, ext. 1

elections

For Immediate Release

February 5, 2020

Special Election:

Absentee Voting Begins Monday, February 10 for Alburnett Community School District and College Community School District

LINN COUNTY, IA – February 5, 2020 – Early, absentee voting begins Monday, February 10 in Linn County for the Alburnett Community School District and the College Community School District Special Elections.

Voting In-Person

Beginning Monday, February 10, Linn County voters residing in the Alburnett Community School District or College Community School District may vote in-person at the Election Services Department of the Linn County 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-5 p.m. In-person absentee voting continues through Monday, March 2.

College Community School District crosses into Johnson and Benton counties. Voters from Johnson or Benton counties should contact their respective Auditor’s office for voting information.

Voting by Mail

Voters may request to have an absentee ballot mailed to them. The last day voters can request ballots by mail is Friday, February 21, 2020.

Absentee 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, March 2 in order to be counted.

Satellite Voting

A satellite voting option will be available. Linn County voters may choose to vote from 2-9 p.m. on Friday, February 14 at the Prairie High School new main entrance located at 401 76th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids. Johnson and Benton County voters may request absentee ballots at this event.

Election Day Vote Centers

Election Day is Tuesday, March 3. The polls will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Alburnett Community School District voters may vote at either of the following locations:

· Alburnett United Methodist Church, 221 S. Main St., Alburnett

· King of Kings Lutheran Church, 3275 N. Center Point Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids

College Community School District voters (for Linn County only) may vote at any one of the following three locations:

· College Community Schools District Office, 401 76th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

· Ely Public Library, 595 Dows St., Ely

· Fairfax Public Library, 313 Vanderbilt St., Fairfax

Election Portal

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

The following can be viewed or downloaded:

· Absentee ballot request forms

· Voter registration forms

· Sample ballots

· Election Day information

Dates & Deadlines

Due Date Event / Deadline
2/10/2020 Absentee Voting Begins
2/21/2020 Last Day to Pre-register to Vote for this Election
2/21/2020 Last Day to Request an Absentee Ballot to be Mailed
3/2/2020 Last Day to Vote In-Person Absentee (Linn County Auditor’s Office)
3/3/2020 Election Day
3/9/2020

First Canvass of Votes

3/16/2020 Second Canvass of Votes

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

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Press Release: US Senator Duckworth makes surprise visit to deported veterans In Mexico

November 12, 2019

Editor’s note: As a veteran and an elected official, I am disgusted by the deportations of fellow veterans who honorably served in the United States Military. My perception is that these deportations are arbitrary and capricious. If you have information to the contrary, please post it below. Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Contact: David Cruz | (818) 689-9991 | davidcruz

Nation’s Oldest & Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Arrives with Former Army Lt. Colonel, Now U.S. Senator

Washington, DC – Domingo Garcia, National President of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) crossed the border early today and traveled to Tijuana with one of the nation’s leading Congressional advocates for veterans, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois). Their delegation also included repatriated Army Special Forces combat soldier, Miguel Perez and Carlos Luna, Council President, LULAC Green Card Veterans based in Chicago, Illinois.

“We made this important visit, unannounced for security reasons, to personally let all deported Latino veterans know that LULAC and Senator Duckworth do not forget them and we will not stop fighting until each and every one of them has been returned home to the country they defended,” said Garcia. “Americans must demand that our immigration laws be changed so that no veteran is kicked out of the U.S. after putting their lives on the line, come back with PTSD, can’t access medical care and fall into trouble. They pay their debt to society for their mistakes but then face a separate penalty because they’re not U.S. citizens and wind up getting deported. This is wrong and we must repatriate all veterans who have suffered this injustice,” he added.

The LULAC Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, chaired by Roman Palomares, is contacting the governors of each of the states where Latino veterans have been deported and asking them to consider signing acts of clemency allowing the former soldiers to return to the United States and have new immigration hearings. This is what was done by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker on behalf of deported veteran, Miguel Perez who successfully obtained his citizenship on October 4, 2019.

“As I shook the hands of these deported veterans and left Tijuana, I couldn’t help but feel they’re still soldiers in a different type of combat every day because their lives are still on the line, “said Garcia. “They’re targets of the plata o plomo danger because criminals see them as potential recruits and those who refuse to join them face the very real threat of harm or even death. None of us must rest until they are safe once again,” he added.

Palomares says Veterans Day is a good opportunity for encouraging our members to consider veteran-related activities year-round. Visit a VA hospital, unfurl and proudly display an American flag, reach out to a veteran you know or simply say thank you to a military service member we might see.

“Being an American veteran isn’t about war or conflict, although we may be called upon to face that too,” says Palomares. “It is about safeguarding the peace and helping to make sure that our nation remains a country where people can live free of fear and that their families can thrive and prosper. LULAC is proud to stand with them and together, we shall continue to defend and fight for the principles upon which our nation is founded,” he concludes.

NEWS RELEASE: Planning Underway for Linn County’s FY21 Budget

November 8, 2019

For more information, contact:

Sara Bearrows

Budget Director

319-892-5115

sara.bearrows

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 8, 2019

Planning Underway for Linn County’s FY21 Budget

Public Budget Forum is 5 p.m. Nov. 19

LINN COUNTY, IA – November 8, 2019 – Planning is underway for Linn County’s fiscal year 2021 budget. The budget will be developed over the next two and a half months during a series of more than 20 public meetings between the Linn County Board of Supervisors, other Linn County elected officials, and department heads.

Linn County will hold its annual Public Budget Forum Tuesday, November 19 at 5 p.m. at the Linn County Public Service Center, 935 Second St. SW in Cedar Rapids. Residents are invited to attend the public forum to address the Board of Supervisors and provide comment on the development of Linn County’s fiscal year 2021 budget.

The meeting dates and times for all budget meetings will be posted on the Agendas & Minutes section of Linn County’s website at LinnCounty.org 24 hours in advance of the meetings.

A budget calendar for the entire FY21 budget process is available on the Linn County website. However, the dates are subject to change so please check the Agendas & Minutes section on Linn County’s website 24 hours in advance for the most up-to-date information or sign-up to receive email and/or text notification of Board of Supervisors meetings and agendas at LinnCounty.org/NotifyMe.

Fiscal year 2021 begins July 1, 2020 and ends June 30, 2021.

Linn County has successfully maintained its Aaa bond rating and has received the following awards from the Government Finance Officers Association for consistently exercising sound fiscal management and reporting:

  • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting – 30 consecutive years
  • Distinguished Budget Presentation Award – 23 consecutive years
  • Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting – 21 consecutive years.

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Media Advisory: Election Day and Results Information for Linn County

October 28, 2019

Dear News Media,

Thank you for your coverage of the November 5, 2019 City/School Election.

Information on election day for Linn County is here.

Please contact me with any questions.

Sincerely,

REBECCA STONAWSKI
Deputy Commissioner of Elections
AUDITOR’S OFFICE
935 2ND St. SW | Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 | Ph: 319-892-5300, opt.1 LinnCounty.org

By Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections

 

NEWS RELEASE: Early Voting Begins 10/7/2019 for City/School Elections

October 3, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 3, 2019

CONTACT:

Rebecca Stonawski

Deputy Commissioner of Elections

319-892-5300, ext. 1

elections

Early Voting Begins Monday, October 7, 2019 for City/School Elections

LINN COUNTY, IA – October 3, 2019 – Early, absentee voting begins Monday, October 7 for the combined City/School Election.

Voting In-Person

Beginning Monday, October 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. 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, November 4 in order to be counted.

Satellite Voting

Satellite voting will be available at the Marion Public Library located at 1095 6th Ave. in Marion on October 26 from noon to 5 p.m. and October 28-30 from 3 to 8 p.m.

Election Portal

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

Dates & Deadlines

Date Event / Deadline
10/7/2019 Absentee Voting Begins
10/25/2019 Last Day to Pre-register to Vote for this Election – Friday
10/25/2019 Last Day to Request an Absentee Ballot to be Mailed
11/4/2019 Last Day to Vote Absentee (Auditor’s Office)
11/5/2019

Election Day

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

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NEWS RELEASE: Voting Rights Restoration Process Letters Mailed to Eligible Linn County Residents

April 10, 2019

For more information, contact:

Rebecca Stonawski

Deputy Commissioner of Elections

319-892-5300, ext. 1

elections

For Immediate Release

April 10, 2019

Voting Rights Restoration Process Letters Mailed to Eligible Linn County Residents

LINN COUNTY, IA – April 10, 2019 – On March 12, 2019, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced a simplified process for felons to apply to have their voting rights restored. Linn County Election Services mailed a letter today to approximately 3,000 Linn County residents who have completed their probation or parole, informing them of this opportunity to regain their right to vote.

The letter includes a copy of the Application for Restoration of Voting Rights and an envelope addressed to the Office of the Governor. Those who submit the application and receive a certificate of restoration from the Governor may then register to vote.

Individuals who discharged their sentences on or before July 4, 2005 had their voting rights automatically restored by Executive Order 42 and do not need to use this application process.

This new application process is not the same as the constitutional amendment that Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds pushed for this legislative session. That constitutional amendment aimed for an automatic process to restore felons’ voting rights. That measure failed in the Iowa Senate.

For more information about applying for restoration of voting rights, contact the Governor’s office at 515-281-5211 or visit https://governor.iowa.gov/services/voting-rights-restoration.

For information on how to register to vote once eligible, contact Linn County Election Services at 319-892-5300, option 1 or visit www.linncounty.org/380/Voter-Registration.

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Press Release: Important Voter File Maintenance Mailing This Week

April 9, 2019

Important Voter File Maintenance Mailing This Week

http://www.johnson-county.com/dept_auditor_elections.aspx?id=25947

If you get a voter card at your home for someone who doesn’t live there, don’t throw it away! This week, the Secretary of State’s office will mail cards to Iowa voters who have had no activity in the last four years, and we need the public’s help to keep the voter rolls up to date.

This annual "Four Year No Activity" mailing is required by law. It is very important that you check the box that applies, make notes if needed, sign the card – we can’t make any changes unless you sign it! – and return it to our office.

The Four Year No Activity card is different than a regular voter card. A sample is attached.

Background

The law is designed to make it hard to cancel someone’s voter registration without their knowledge. No one’s registration is cancelled simply for not voting. Since the National Voter Registration Act, better known as "Motor Voter," took effect in 1995, the cancellation process depends on whether or not you can get mail at your address.

A Four Year No Activity card is not a cancellation of your voter registration. It’s simply a double-check and a reminder. Cards are sent to all voters who have not:

  • Voted in any election
  • Registered or re-registered to vote
  • Updated their address or any other information

If your card is returned to our office as undeliverable, or returned and signed by someone saying you no longer live there, we can then begin the process of cancellation.

In February, the Secretary of State also sent notices to voters who have reported an address change to the Postal Service.

IF your Four Year No Activity card is returned to our office as undeliverable:

Your voter registration record will placed on inactive status. This is a preliminary step to cancellation.

Voters remain on the rolls with inactive status through two general elections. If you try to vote, you will be asked to update your registration. You will then be returned to active status.

Voters inactivated in 2019 will be cancelled after the 2022 general election. Records that were inactive through 2016 and 2018 were cancelled earlier this year.

If you get a card for someone who doesn’t live at your address:

Indicate on the reply card that the person does not live at your address, sign the card, and return it to our office. We can then place the person on inactive status. However, we can’t completely cancel the registration without the voter’s own signature unless:

  • we get notice from another community that the voter has registered there;
  • we get notice that the voter has died or been convicted of a felony; or
  • the voter has been on inactive status through two general elections

If the card is not returned, the law requires us to assume that the person still lives there. We may not get a chance to take them off the rolls for another four years. (Political campaigns will also assume the person still lives there, so you’ll probably get mailings and phone calls.)

If the person is a family member or someone you know, please contact them and encourage them to contact our office. It’s not that we don’t believe you – we just have to follow the law.

If you get a Four Year No Activity card for yourself and your address is correct:

You don’t have to do anything. The fact that you got the card indicates that you are still registered with Active status.

If you get a Four Year No Activity card and the address is incorrect:

Check the box marked "I am the person named above but I no longer live at the address listed." Fill in your new street address and sign the card.

If your new address is in the same county, your voter registration record will be updated and you will receive a new voter card. This will show up as activity on your voter registration record.

If your new address is outside the county or state, your voter registration will be cancelled. IMPORTANT: This does not register you to vote in your new community! You will need to re-register at your new address.

Common Issues

The law is designed to make it hard to cancel someone’s voter registration without their knowledge. This is a good thing but it has some unintended consequences that make certain voters especially hard to inactivate and cancel:

  • Young adults who have moved away from their parent’s home. If the mail carrier keeps delivering mail to the parent’s address, our office has no way of knowing the young adult has moved away, and we have to assume they still live there. Parents can sign the card and indicate their adult child has moved away, and this will allow us to place them on inactive status. However, we will not be able to completely cancel the registration without the voter’s own signature.
  • Large group housing such as dorms, fraternity/sorority houses, and apartment buildings. It’s very important for the new residents to sign and return the cards so we can inactivate the former residents. Our office has contacted University Housing and the Fraternity and Sorority Life office and they will be cooperating with our office on this mailing.
  • Elderly voters who have moved to care centers. Unfortunately, if the person is no longer able to sign the card and indicate they no longer wish to vote, we cannot cancel their registration. Iowa law specifically excludes the use of power of attorney for voting and election matters.

Please contact your county auditor with any questions.

Johnson County Auditor 319-356-6004
Linn County Auditor 319-892-5300

4YearNoActivityCard.pdf

Voters, take care to make your ballots count

October 12, 2018

THE GAZETTE’S EDITORIAL

The good news is Linn County voters, clearly, are highly motivated to cast their ballots this fall.

So much so that when the Linn County Auditor’s Office sent out sample ballots to more than 90,000 registered voters, 489 people filled out that sample, apparently thinking it to be a real ballot. The word ‘sample’ scrawled across the ballot faded during printing. The mailing included an absentee ballot request form and a return envelope, prompting some to erroneously mail in the sample ballot.

Unfortunately, 44 of those returned samples lacked a return address, making it impossible for auditor’s staff to alert those voters of their mistake. We hope a series of media reports have reached those voters, who can still vote by traditional means. Sent-in samples have been shredded.

Now that the auditor’s office is in the midst of mailing and handling thousands of absentee ballots and requests, we agree with Auditor Joel Miller that another mailing alerting voters to the sample ballot issue could create more confusion.

This episode is a reminder that mistakes can cost voters their right to be heard.

Two years ago in Linn County, more than 3,000 requested absentee ballots never were returned. Among those returned, 180 voters failed to provide a signature.

Due to copyright laws, I cannot paste the entire editorial here.  To continue reading, go to https://cedarrapidsgazette-ia.newsmemory.com/ and login  – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Postcard mailed to eligible but unregistered voters

September 29, 2018

Kudos to the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office for reaching out to Iowa citizens who have drivers licenses and IDs, but are not registered to vote – see below email from Kline!

I believe this idea evolved from a question by John Chiodo – Polk County Director of Elections, to the SoS during a meeting with county auditors several months ago.  It’s fantastic to witness a great idea being implemented and prevailing over politics in a hyper-partisan political environment!  Kudos to the idea generators and the implementors! Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

From: Kline, Ken [SOS] [Ken.Kline@sos.iowa.gov]
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2018 1:33 PM

County auditors and staff:

You will see below a 4” x 6” postcard that was mailed today to more than 300,000 persons who are eligible, but unregistered to vote.

The phone number is located in the SOS office, and was selected so as to lessen the burden to your offices with inquiries.  We have hired temporary staff to take phone calls and answer questions.

You may still receive calls from voters.  In the past two weeks we have had more than 10,000 people use the online voter registration system.  Some of these folks will receive a postcard and may wonder why, since they just registered.  This is simply due to the logistics and timing of processing records, and printing and mailing cards for such a large number of people.

Because each of these people have an Iowa driver’s license or non-operator ID, we have encouraged them to take advantage of the online VR system.

Please join us in encouraging people to register and vote.  We will plan to keep in contact with you as we go through and learn from this process.


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