In a county election determined by 7 votes, 42 mail-in ballots were rejected that would've counted under Iowa's prior election laws

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
70,625
50,143
113
Just seven votes determined the winner of a June 7 primary election for Clinton County supervisors.
Two days later, 50 ballots arrived at the county auditor's office, 35 of which were postmarked May 27. Almost all were postmarked before election day, which means the votes would've counted before 2021 changes in election laws.
That high number surprised Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker and his staff.
"It's unusual that that many would come in like that after election day," Van Lancker said.
So he called the post office, and he said a manager told him there was a mail bag that mistakenly cycled through a mail-processing facility more than once, causing the delay.

He said in total there were 23 Republican ballots that arrived after polls closed and weren't counted.

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Incumbent Supervisor Dan Srp got 1,351 votes, outlasting Sheriff Deputy Steve Cundiff, who had 1,344 votes, according to unofficial tallies. No Democrats ran for county supervisors, all but guaranteeing the two spots to the winners of the three-way primary. Jim Irwin, Jr., got the top spot, garnering 1,467 votes.


"Even though these ballots came late in due to a human error, which happens, if we would’ve been able to use bar code information and postmarks, we would’ve been able to count all 50 ballots," Van Lancker said. "We’ll never know how those ballots were voted, but we had a race that was determined by seven votes."


Mail-in ballots now must arrive before polls close on election day, part of changes to absentee and early voting lawmakers approved during the 2021 legislative session. Previously, the law allowed auditors to count mail-in ballots that were postmarked ahead of election day as long as they arrived by noon the following Monday.
Cundiff said the narrow race and the new law that doesn't allow absentee ballots to be counted put his campaign in a "tough spot," but that the "rules are the rules, and they can't count them."

He said he doesn't plan to request a recount, but when asked if he thinks the Legislature should revert back to its pre-2021 election laws on absentee ballots counting if they're postmarked before election day, he said:


"I think the ones that are postmarked before the election should be counted. That's not fair to the voter. That's not the fault of the voter that the vote was held up in the post office box. If they're mailed in time in good faith, they should be counted."
"Just since it was such a close election, I feel like: did the postal service decide this election or did the people?" Cundiff added. "I don't want to get into whining, but that's something that bothers me."
Mark Inglett, a regional spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service said the postal service "is fully committed to the secure, timely delivery of the nation’s Election Mail. We employ a robust process to ensure proper handling of all Election Mail, including ballots."


"Regarding late arriving ballots in the Clinton County, IA, primary elections, the Postal Service has reviewed our processing practices in the area and found an unintentional error that may be responsible. We are reviewing all processes and procedures with our employees and look forward to a successful general election in November,” Inglett said.

In Scott County, the auditor's office had to reject much fewer ballots. Eleven ballots arrived on June 8 and 9, said Scott County Auditor Kerri Tompkins. She said she didn't know how many, if any, were postmarked ahead of election day. In total, 2,198 Scott County residents voted absentee in the election, Tompkins said.
In total for Clinton County, Van Lancker said there were 53 total rejected ballots that came in after election day. Eleven of them weren't postmarked ahead of election day. Of the 42 that were postmarked before June 7, Democrats accounted for 19 and Republicans accounted for 23.
Each voter got a notice in the mail explaining that their ballot was rejected, he said.
For Van Lancker, he said, this underscores that voters who want to vote absentee in future elections need to allow lots of extra time to mail their ballots if they have to vote by mail. Voters can also drop off their absentee ballot at the auditor's office or vote absentee in-person to make sure their votes arrive on time.


"This is an extreme example," Van Lancker said. "But it still accentuates the point that our voters need to know the new rules."

 

Keehawk

HR All-American
May 24, 2011
4,735
4,359
113
I'm curious how long the pre 2021 law was on the books. Is this a law that is just reverting a covid law back to the way it was?

Either way, this sucks for the voters in this instance.
 

lucas80

HR King
Gold Member
Jan 30, 2008
93,604
118,925
113
Of the 42 that were postmarked before June 7, Democrats accounted for 19 and Republicans accounted for 23.
Exactly. The plan worked. The plan is to push down voting. And, as I have repeatedly said over the years, this will bite the Republicans, too, but in their head long rush to provide a solution to a problem that did not exist they half assed it.
 
Sep 23, 2011
2,261
2,659
113
Just seven votes determined the winner of a June 7 primary election for Clinton County supervisors.
Two days later, 50 ballots arrived at the county auditor's office, 35 of which were postmarked May 27. Almost all were postmarked before election day, which means the votes would've counted before 2021 changes in election laws.
That high number surprised Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker and his staff.
"It's unusual that that many would come in like that after election day," Van Lancker said.
So he called the post office, and he said a manager told him there was a mail bag that mistakenly cycled through a mail-processing facility more than once, causing the delay.

He said in total there were 23 Republican ballots that arrived after polls closed and weren't counted.

Subscribe today and support local journalism!


Incumbent Supervisor Dan Srp got 1,351 votes, outlasting Sheriff Deputy Steve Cundiff, who had 1,344 votes, according to unofficial tallies. No Democrats ran for county supervisors, all but guaranteeing the two spots to the winners of the three-way primary. Jim Irwin, Jr., got the top spot, garnering 1,467 votes.


"Even though these ballots came late in due to a human error, which happens, if we would’ve been able to use bar code information and postmarks, we would’ve been able to count all 50 ballots," Van Lancker said. "We’ll never know how those ballots were voted, but we had a race that was determined by seven votes."


Mail-in ballots now must arrive before polls close on election day, part of changes to absentee and early voting lawmakers approved during the 2021 legislative session. Previously, the law allowed auditors to count mail-in ballots that were postmarked ahead of election day as long as they arrived by noon the following Monday.
Cundiff said the narrow race and the new law that doesn't allow absentee ballots to be counted put his campaign in a "tough spot," but that the "rules are the rules, and they can't count them."

He said he doesn't plan to request a recount, but when asked if he thinks the Legislature should revert back to its pre-2021 election laws on absentee ballots counting if they're postmarked before election day, he said:


"I think the ones that are postmarked before the election should be counted. That's not fair to the voter. That's not the fault of the voter that the vote was held up in the post office box. If they're mailed in time in good faith, they should be counted."
"Just since it was such a close election, I feel like: did the postal service decide this election or did the people?" Cundiff added. "I don't want to get into whining, but that's something that bothers me."
Mark Inglett, a regional spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service said the postal service "is fully committed to the secure, timely delivery of the nation’s Election Mail. We employ a robust process to ensure proper handling of all Election Mail, including ballots."


"Regarding late arriving ballots in the Clinton County, IA, primary elections, the Postal Service has reviewed our processing practices in the area and found an unintentional error that may be responsible. We are reviewing all processes and procedures with our employees and look forward to a successful general election in November,” Inglett said.

In Scott County, the auditor's office had to reject much fewer ballots. Eleven ballots arrived on June 8 and 9, said Scott County Auditor Kerri Tompkins. She said she didn't know how many, if any, were postmarked ahead of election day. In total, 2,198 Scott County residents voted absentee in the election, Tompkins said.
In total for Clinton County, Van Lancker said there were 53 total rejected ballots that came in after election day. Eleven of them weren't postmarked ahead of election day. Of the 42 that were postmarked before June 7, Democrats accounted for 19 and Republicans accounted for 23.
Each voter got a notice in the mail explaining that their ballot was rejected, he said.
For Van Lancker, he said, this underscores that voters who want to vote absentee in future elections need to allow lots of extra time to mail their ballots if they have to vote by mail. Voters can also drop off their absentee ballot at the auditor's office or vote absentee in-person to make sure their votes arrive on time.


"This is an extreme example," Van Lancker said. "But it still accentuates the point that our voters need to know the new rules."

Cry me a river you little b!tch!
 
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Finance85

HR Legend
Oct 22, 2003
16,626
17,297
113
I just requested a mail in ballot for all elections through the end of the year. This includes the primary, any run-offs, and the general election. It was simple, it took less than a couple of minutes, and I got an e-mail confirmation within 2 minutes. The prerequisite was a voter registration, and that my address matched my registration. There's also a link on the Supervisor's website where I can check the status of my ballots. There was a provision to make the request on behalf of an elderly or disabled person (which didn't apply). This is for Santa Rosa County Florida. The primary is August 23rd, and I hope Matt Gaetz loses.

Here's a link to Florida election FAQ's. Any reasonable and thinking person can see how absurdly easy it is to vote.

https://dos.myflorida.com/elections/contacts/frequently-asked-questions/faq-voting/
 
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FlickShagwell

HR Legend
Gold Member
Jun 16, 2003
39,773
64,872
113
Omaha, NE
Cry me a river you little b!tch!
will-ferrell-escalated-quickly.gif
 

globalhawk

HR All-American
Dec 16, 2003
4,729
5,048
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Rules are rules,... If you don't like the rules that were in place during the last election, lobby for rule changes prior to the next election and then abide by what's agreed upon.
Even though the voters followed the rules?
 

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