August 2011


The Auditor’s Office has forwarded to the Board of Supervisors a proposed ordinance to revamp Scott County’s election precincts based on the federal census and state redistricting.  Scott County will retain 63 precincts, with new precincts being added due to population increases and shifts, and other precincts being combined to reach that number.  Adding precincts to increase the total number of precincts would also require the county to purchase new voting equipment at approximately $10,000 per precinct added.

Board action will complete the redistricting process in Scott County.  The cities of Bettendorf, Davenport, Eldridge and LeClaire have completed drawing new precinct maps.  Each city with a population of more than 3,500 residents has the responsibility to create precincts for that city.  For unincorporated townships and smaller cities the county board of supervisors is responsible for creating precincts.  To assist the Scott County Board of Supervisors the Auditor’s Office prepared an amendment to the county’s precinct ordinance, including maps of the new precincts.  The County Attorney’s Office reviewed the ordinance, and once the last city completed its precinct process, the ordinance was submitted to the County Board.  Here is a link to the ordinance:

The Board will conduct a public hearing regarding the amendments to the precinct ordinance on Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. in the Scott County Administrative Center, 600 West 4th Street, Davenport, Iowa – 1st floor Board Room.  At that time members of the public can address the Board with their comments or questions.  Staff members from the Auditor’s Office will be available to help answer questions.

There are several significant changes to the county precincts.  The City of Blue Grass and Blue Grass Township are combined into one precinct.  There is a new Donahue precinct as state redistricting separated Donahue from Allens Grove Township.  Through an agreement with the City of Eldridge, Sheridan Township will be combined into Eldridge Precinct 2.  There is a new Long Grove precinct as state redistricting separated Long Grove from Winfield Township.  Butler Township is divided into two precincts due to population growth.  There is a new McCausland precinct which takes in most of Butler Township outside of Park View and Scott County Park, and a new Park View precinct which will include Lincoln Township.  Walcott precinct will take in the City of Walcott and Cleona Township.  Finally, there are two small sections of Blue Grass Township surrounded by the City of Davenport.  Those small sections are added into Davenport precincts 11 and 13.  Here is a link to the proposed precinct maps:

Absentee ballots for the September 13, 2011 School Elections are now available from the Scott County Auditor’s Office.  Mail-in absentee ballots may be requested by completing an absentee ballot request form and returning it to the Auditor’s Office.  Our office mails out ballots within 24 hours of receiving the request.  Also, over the counter voting is available in the Auditor’s Office from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The deadline to pre-register to vote in the School Elections is Friday, September 2, 2011.  Those interested can register at the Scott County Auditor’s Office or at a driver’s license station.  Mail-in registrations post marked on or before August 29, 2011 will also be accepted for pre-registration.

After Friday, those interested in voting, but who are not pre-registered, may register to vote at the polls on Election Day or at the Auditor’s Office and vote an absentee ballot prior to Election Day.  Those registering in this manner are required to provide proof of their identity through a picture identity card, such as a valid driver’s license, and proof of their residency if the identity card does not list a current  address. 

Absentee ballot request forms, sample ballots, voter registration forms and details for Election Day registration are available on the Auditor’s webpage:

http://www.scottcountyiowa.com/auditor/.

The Auditor’s Office received final confirmation today regarding the list of candidates for the upcoming Scott County School Elections, set for September 13, 2011.  Polls will be open throughout Scott County from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Local school board positions and public measures will be on the ballot, as well as candidates for the Eastern Iowa Community College District. Sample ballots are available on the Auditor’s webpage at http://www.scottcountyiowa.com/auditor/.

There will be four positions up for election for the Bettendorf, Davenport and North Scott School Board.  The Pleasant Valley School Board will have positions for director districts three, four, five and six on the ballot.  The Bennett School District will have two positions up for election and the Calamus-Wheatland School District and the Durant School District will have three each. 

Three school districts, Bettendorf, North Scott and Pleasant Valley will have ballot measures to update the revenue purpose statement for each district.  Also, North Scott will have a ballot measure submitted by citizen petition to loan textbooks free of charge or rental fee to school district students beginning July 1, 2012. 

The Eastern Iowa Community College District will have positions for director districts three, four, five and nine on the ballot in Scott County. 

Voters in 30 Scott County precincts will see their election officials using electronic poll books.  “Electronic poll books save money and increase the accuracy of elections,” Moritz said.  “With the increasing complexity of election law it is important that we give our election officials the tools they need to conduct elections.  Electronic poll books take the complexity of the law and turn it into simple to answer questions.  This decreases the opportunity for errors to occur and increases the security and accuracy of elections,” Moritz said.

“Also the use of electronic poll books simplifies the process for maintaining voter files.  During the past fiscal year my office maintained more than 123,000 files for Scott County voters.  Updating these files by hand after major elections can take weeks costing more in overtime and temporary workers.  Once we fully deploy electronic poll books this updating process will only take a few hours,” Moritz added. 

Below is a full list of candidates for the major school boards and the community college district. Also listed is the text of the ballot measure for changing the revenue purpose statements for the Bettendorf, North Scott and Pleasant Valley School Districts, as well as a ballot measure regarding the free provision of text books to students in the North Scott School District.

CANDIDATES

Bettendorf School District (vote for no more than four)

Barry Anderson
Ray Cassady
Paul Castro
Jeannine K. Crockett

Davenport School District (vote for no more than four)

Tyla Cole
Nikki J. DeFauw
Ralph Johanson
Ken Krumwiede
William Lee Sherwood

North Scott School District (vote for no more than four)

Dennis Albertson
Paul Dierickx
Joni Dittmer
Dennis Kirby
Barbara Kuhl
Tim Lane
Krista Long
John D. Maxwell

Pleasant Valley School District (vote for no more than one)

Director District 3 – Deborah K. Dayman

Director District 4 – Scott Isbell

Director District 5 – Joseph Bullock

Director District 6 – Amy Richmond

Eastern Iowa Community College (vote for no more than one)

Director District III – Joseph E. D’Souza

Director District IV – Robert H. Gallagher

Director District V – Mary Lou Engler

Director District IX – Michelle Garvin

BALLOT MEASURES

Bettendorf Community School District; North Scott Community School District; & Pleasant Valley Community School District

Proposition A – 

SHALL THE FOLLOWING PUBLIC MEASURE BE ADOPTED?

Summary: To adopt the revenue purpose statement to replace the current Revenue Purpose Statement and authorize the expenditure of revenues from the State of Iowa secure an advanced vision for education fund received by the (Bettendorf, North Scott or Pleasant Valley) Community School District.

In the (Bettendorf, North Scott or Pleasant Valley) Community School District, the following Revenue Purpose Statement which specifies the use of the sales, services and use tax funds from the State of Iowa secure an advanced vision for education fund for school infrastructure (penny sales, services and use tax for schools) shall be adopted:

To provide funds for property tax relief.

To provide funds to build and furnish a new school building or buildings; to build and furnish addition(s) to school buildings in the District; to remodel, repair, expand, and improve the school buildings in the District; to purchase and improve grounds; for demolition work; to furnish and equip district facilities.

To provide funds for the purchase, lease or lease-purchase of buildings or equipment (including transportation, technology and recreation equipment) as authorized by law, to implement energy conservation measures, sharing or rental of facilities, procuring or acquisition of libraries, or opening roads to schoolhouses or buildings.

To provide funds for emergency repairs to respond to natural disasters, such as fire, wind damage, flood; unanticipated mechanical, plumbing, structural, roof, electrical system failures; environmental remediation; or to respond to changes in demographics that require construction of additions or improvements to school buildings or new school buildings.

To provide funds to establish and maintain public recreation places and playgrounds; provide for supervision and instruction for recreational activities; or for community education purposes; and other authorized expenditures and purposes as now or hereafter permitted by law and designated by the (Bettendorf, North Scott or Pleasant Valley) Community School District.

To provide funds for the payment of principal and interest or retirement of general obligation bonds issued for school infrastructure purposes, energy improvement loans, loan agreements authorized by Iowa Code section 297.36, sales, service and use tax revenue bonds issued under Iowa Code section 423E.5.

It being understood that if this proposition should fail to be approved by the voters, such failure shall not be construed to terminate or restrict authority previously granted by the voters to expend receipts from the secure an advanced vision for education fund.

If approved, this Revenue Purpose Statement shall remain in effect until replaced or amended by the (Bettendorf, North Scott or Pleasant Valley) Community School District.

North Scott Community School District
Public Measure B – North Scott

SHALL THE FOLLOWING PUBLIC MEASURE BE ADOPTED?

Shall the Board of Directors of the North Scott Community School District in the County of Scott, State of Iowa, loan textbooks free of any charge or rental fee to School District students, beginning July 1, 2012?

For more information contact the Scott County Auditor’s Office at 563-326-8631.

Arliss Whistler couldn't believe how many years he had worked at the polls.

Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz presented awards to 57 precinct chair people during an awards luncheon August 8, 2011 sponsored by the Auditor’ Office.  An additional 18 chair people who could not attend will be mailed their awards.  The awards consist of a certificate for years of service and an election officials pin in the form of the Scott County logo. 

Certificates like the one pictured here were awarded for years of service up to ten years as chair people.

Besides the awards luncheon, the event also served as a training opportunity, with the Election Department staff putting together a game of “Jeopardy” involving election related categories.  These included – Acronyms and Abbreviations, It’s 6:00 a.m.; Now What, Election Day Registration, Provisional Ballots, It’s 8:00 p.m.; Now What and Election Potpourri.   The officials were split into two groups and competed to be Jeopardy champions.  We won’t say which team won.

Audrae Zoeckler receives her award for years of service from Auditor Moritz.

“Working the polls is a thankless job,” Auditor Moritz said.  “You are up early in the morning and work late into the night.  It is often boring, always tedious and occasionally frustrating work.  It is also vital to making democracy work, and therefore one of the most important jobs in America,” she said.  “Our poll workers deserve recognition for a job well done.”

Darlene Reinert was one of 75 precinct chair people to be honored by the Scott County Auditor's Office for her years of service.

 

Mike Salter received his award from Auditor Moritz.

Auditor Roxanna Moritz attended the Iowa State Association of County Auditors (ISACA) summer conference last week.  The program covered how to reconcile TIF districts, preservation of pioneer cemeteries, changes in GASB accounting standards and several other topics.  Auditors also heard from the Deputy Secretary of State for Elections regarding reprecincting and other election related topics.

The program also included setting priorities for the Association’s legislative agenda, with the top four priorities receiving special efforts for passage.  This year those priorities include allowing auditor offices to close on the second Saturday before primary and general elections, closing absentee voting at noon on the day before election day, reducing the size and number of envelopes involved in absentee voting, and allowing all mail ballot elections in municipal elections for cities with fewer than 200 residents.  Eliminating city vacancy elections from the general election ballot dropped from four last year to five this year.

Auditor Moritz especially supports closing absentee voting at noon on the day before an election.  While smaller counties may not be impacted by this mandate, larger counties are severely impacted.  For example, in Scott County more than 900 people voted absentee at the auditor’s office on the Monday before the 2008 general election.  To ensure against voter fraud, the records for all of those voters had to be updated in the I-VOTER system, and precinct officials had to receive those updates to cross voters off their voter registers.  This process was repeated throughout Iowa and taxed the I-VOTERS system. 

While this mandate may have made sense in the past when voting was much more restricted, there now are more opportunities to vote by mail, at satellite locations and through use of election day registration.  And there are good reasons to eliminate the mandate.  In 2008 auditor staff were creating updated voter lists until late in the evening, increasing the possibility of entry errors.  Precinct officials had to receive the updated voter information later still, by phone, and in some cases well after midnight, also increasing the possibility of error.  Further, other vital tasks must be delayed as updating the voter registers must take priority to prevent voter fraud.  Finally, election day is already sixteen hours long for our precinct officials.  Tasking them with updating lists after midnight on the night before the election is too much to ask, and has already led some officials to quit.  Good precinct officials are hard to come by.