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School, city elections merged for Nov. 5 vote Nomination Papers Available Monday By John Speer Central Iowa Press

August 22, 2019
Northern-Sun Print
It’s not time for the Iowa presidential caucuses but the nomination papers can be taken out for school board and city council posts beginning Monday, Aug. 26. Seats on school boards and city councils across Tama County and Iowa will be decided on the same date - Nov. 5 - for the first time, at least in modern history. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. This is also the first time voters can register and cast their ballot at the polls. Previously there was a 10-day pre-registration required according to Tama County Commissioner of Elections - Auditor Laura Kopsa. State Rep. Dean Fisher has this take on the change, “The goal of the legislature is to boost election turnout by combining these elections. With more at stake on the ballot, the interest should be higher. We also intend that by combining elections the overall costs can be shared and thus lowered, making our local government more cost effective.” “County Auditors and Secretary of State’s office have been working on this transition for over two years to ensure technology is up-to-date and training is in place. In the last four elections across Iowa, school elections averaged 6.5% turnout and city elections over 20% turnout. This legislation simply encourages more civic participation at the local level,” Edler said. Nomination Papers - Where To Obtain Nomination papers may be picked up at Tama County Auditor - Commisisoner of Elections Laura Kopsa’s office in the County Administration Building, 104 West State St., Toledo, from city clerks and school board secretaries for respective contests in their area or from the Secretary of State’s website: The filing deadline for all offices is Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. School board candidates file nomination papers with their respective school secretary. City office candidates can file nomination papers with their respective city clerk of with the auditor / commissioner of elections office. What may make for “extra fun” on Nov. 5 for election officials, poll workers and voters will be the eligibility for the various ballots. Both Karen Rohrs, Elections Commissioner Kopsa, agree all locations will have more than one ballot and a couple of places, Elberon and Lincoln, will have multiple ballots. For example, at Toledo and Tama polling places, there will be ballots for city, South Tama and Iowa Valley Community College District. Town residents can vote in all three and rural voters are able to vote on both school ballots. South Tama School Board members have discussed bringing back the PPEL vote for another try and the Iowa Valley Board decided last week to try gaining approval of a $32 million bond issue on a second try. Confusing? Both Kopsa and Rohrs say its more interesting at Elberon where city voters cast ballots this year for mayor and two council seats and for Benton Community School District Board members and the Kirkwood Community College District if there is a race. Meanwhile Vining residents also vote at Elberon and cast ballots on city and South Tama ballots. Rural voters at Elberon, depending upon their home residential location, vote on local school races for South Tama, Belle Plaine, North Tama or Benton Community and for their respective community college district if there are board races or issues. At Lincoln it’s much of the same. Voters living in town choose mayor, all five council seats and vote in the Gladbrook-Reinbeck and Iowa Valley school district contests. And, depending upon where they live, rural voters at Lincoln cast ballots in either the Gladbrook-Reinbeck or Grundy Center school elections. Kopsa and Rohrs said it was yet to be determined what type of cost savings, if any, would result from the consolidation of two election days into one.

School, City Posts on Nov. 5 Ballot Up for election on the Nov. 5 ballot are the positions now held by- •Gladbrook-Reinbeck Community School District-Anne Boyer, Susan Kerns-Petersen, Lisa Swanson and Matt Wyatt. •GMG Community School District-Director District One, Bill Backoff; Director District Two, Doug Dielman; Director at Large, Stephanie DeSchamp. •Gladbrook-Mayor Keith Sash, Council member Scott Schmidt, Council member Trudi Scott. •Garwin-Mayor Wilford Karsjen, Council member Jane Jordebrek, Council member Tom Podhajsky, Council member Leonard Lee Untiedt. •Lincoln-Mayor Trent Wentzien, Council member Michelle Clark, Council member John Eilers, Council member Richard Ellis, Council member Vance Sebbert, Council member Craig Cormaney



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