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


Rebuttal to NBC concerning attempts to hack Iowa’s voter registration system

February 15, 2018

Iowa’s Secretary of State is taking exception to NBC’s report and he wants Iowa’s county auditors & commissioners of elections to know the facts. The one fact that no one seems to dispute: Iowa was a target in 2016. Read on. –Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

From: Kline, Ken [SOS] [mailto:Ken.Kline@sos.iowa.gov]
Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2018 11:18 AM

County Auditors:

You have seen recent reports from NBC News about attempted election hacking in 2016. Secretary Pate wants to ensure that you have accurate information so that you have a good understanding of the issues, and are able to answer questions you may receive.

First and foremost, there have been no unauthorized intrusions into Iowa’s voter registration system. Prior to the 2016 General Election, persons in the Russian government scanned the Secretary of State’s public website, which is not connected to the voter registration system. Security experts liken a scan of this type to a burglar who drives through a neighborhood looking for an easy house to break in, as opposed to hacking, which would be an intrusion or break-in. Because the scan was done on the public website, and not the voter registration system, the “burglars” were not even driving through the right neighborhood. Again, there have been no unauthorized intrusions into Iowa’s voter registration system.

The NBC story includes inaccuracies, and even contradicts itself in the first two paragraphs. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Association of Secretaries of State have strongly criticized the NBC report: http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/373423-homeland-security-calls-nbc-report-on-election-hacking-false.

Secretary Pate takes cybersecurity seriously, and this office partners with the OCIO’s Chief Information Security Officer, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission, MS-ISAC (Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center), and others to ensure system and data integrity. Additionally, Secretary Pate is a member of the Government Coordinating Council for Elections Infrastructure Subsector. This group was established in October 2017 to shape how the DHS critical infrastructure designation for elections is administered at both the state and local levels. Our IT Department is vigilant in protecting the voter registration database, employing continuous monitoring and numerous protections to keep the system secure.

It is important for the public to know that this office – in partnership with the county auditors – is committed to safeguarding the Iowa’s election infrastructure. News stories based on inaccurate information serve only to undermine public confidence in our elections.

We will continue to keep you informed and to work with you on best practices regarding cybersecurity. If you have any questions or need more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Ken Kline
Deputy Commissioner of Elections
Elections and Voter Registration

Office of Iowa Secretary of State Paul D. Pate

(515) 242-5071


HELP WANTED: Community Health Division Manager

February 13, 2018

Like a number of private sector employers, Linn County is seeking to fill open positions. Attached is a job description for a manager in Linn County Public Health.

Any interested person may apply online at www.linncounty.org (Job Opportunities). The deadline to apply for this position is Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. –Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor


HELP WANTED: Elections office coordinator

February 12, 2018

Interested in working in elections on a permanent basis? We have an opportunity for you.

Linn County already held one election in 2018 and we will likely administer another 3-4 special elections, as well as, a primary and general election in 2018. We are busy!

The elections office coordinator position was offered to current Linn County employees first per the County’s union contracts; however, now, the public can apply. If you are interested or have questions, please contact mailto:joel.miller – Linn County Auditor

ElectionsOfficeCoordinatorFebruary 2018.pdf

Voter registration party changes from the caucuses

February 9, 2018

The numbers below represent the changes in voters’ party preferences as a result of the political party caucuses held on Monday, February 5th. These changes reflect those that voted with their feet and attended the caucuses on a snowy night versus those who opted to stay home.

I don’t think you can draw any conclusions from these numbers, but I am certain someone will try. – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Party Change Counts
Party Changes Number of Changes
Democrat to Republican 3
No Party to Democrat 19
No Party to Republican 2
Other to Democrat 2
Republican to Democrat 2

Electronic poll books tested at Lisbon election

February 8, 2018

During Tuesday’s election in Lisbon, poll workers (PEOs) tested Poll Pads, i.e., the electronic poll books (EPBs) we are considering using for future elections. EPBs are rapidly replacing paper-based election registers in Iowa and across the nation.

Overall, Tuesday’s test of the Poll Pads was successful, i.e., the PEOs efficiently checked-in the voters and dispensed ballots. When the election concluded, the Poll Pad provided reports – see attached – that are as yet unavailable from the other two EPBs being used in Iowa.

The Voter Turnout reports from the Poll Pad allowed us to review when voters checked-in to vote. For example, the best time to go to vote on Tuesday was at 7am, Noon, or after 7pm. The dip in voters at Noon is a surprise because we always thought there was a surge of voters over the lunch hour, but that was not the case on Tuesday.

Another report is the Types of Voter ID used. Even though the Iowa Secretary of State mailed out over 120,000 voter ID cards in December, only one was presented at the voter check-in table. This is the type of data we need to see to understand what types of IDs the voters have or do not have.

Imagine if you knew in advance if the polls were busy BEFORE you headed to the polls. When we go to the airport, we can see if our plane is going to arrive on-time or takeoff on-time. Election administrators are not asking for too much when we ask for funds to modernize our elections; we are only asking to use the technology that is available to everyone else in the country.

Poll Pad technology is available now. We demonstrated it on Tuesday. How much is it worth to you? How much is your time worth? What technology should be used to administer elections in Linn County? If you have an opinion on this topic, send an email to mailto:Joel.Miller – Linn County Auditor

voter_turnout 15 min.pdf

voter_turnout by hour.pdf


@LisbonCSD voters set a high bar for future voters

February 7, 2018

Great news! Only 5 of the 560 voters voting at the polling place in yesterday’s (2/6) Lisbon Community School District (LCSD) election could NOT produce a required ID. And those five non-ID holders voted after signing an additional oath – see attached.

Was the Lisbon election representative of the forthcoming 2018 elections in terms of non-ID holders versus ID holders? Probably not. But kudos to the LCSD’s voters for being prepared to vote by bringing an ID. Five of 560 voters means less than one percent of the voters did not have an acceptable form of ID and that’s way less than I expected.

About ten days ago, we hosted a satellite voting station at the LCSD High School and 250 voters voted and only two showed up without an ID. Turns out both of them had driver’s licenses on record, which allowed them to vote a regular ballot.

Requiring #voterID in a precinct with a college or university could result in a different outcome, but the performance of LCSD’s voters gives me hope 1> that the word is getting out that an ID is required and 2> that producing an ID is not insurmountable.

LCSD’s voters set a high bar for future voters in the 2018 elections. Congratulations @LisbonCSD voters on being engaged in your local government, knowing the issues, and voting in your election! – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

2018 ID oath.pdf

%d bloggers like this: