Auditor’s Office shares tips for voters and candidates
Montgomery County voters interested in voting absentee for the Nov. 7 city/school election may file requests for absentee ballots with the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office.
Montgomery County Auditor Jill Ozuna said Iowans, including those in Montgomery County, can begin requesting absentee ballots for the November city/school election immediately.
State law allows Iowans to request absentee ballots beginning 70 days before an election.
“It’s important to plan ahead,” Ozuna said. “There are many options available. If you plan to vote by mail, go ahead and send your absentee ballot request form now. That will make it easier for you and the auditor’s office when it comes time to cast your ballot.”
Absentee ballot request forms can be found on the Montgomery County website at montgomerycountyia.gov or on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website at sos.iowa.gov/. They may also be requested by calling the Montgomery County Auditor’s office at 623-5127.
Military members stationed outside the U.S. and overseas citizens can also begin requesting absentee ballots for the November general election. That request form is also available on the Secretary of State’s website.
For more information to help prepare for the city/school election, go to visit VoterReady.Iowa.gov.
Ozuna and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate are also encouraging Iowans to celebrate National Voter Registration Month the rest of September by registering to vote.
For Iowans who are already registered, it’s important to make sure your information is current.
Last year, 28 Iowans registered to vote in Montgomery County during National Voter Registration Month. Approximately 90% of eligible Iowans are registered to vote. Ozuna urged county residents to make sure their voice is heard.
“No matter the outcome, your voice is heard when you vote,” said Ozuna.
The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) established September as National Voter Registration Month in 2002 as a non-partisan means of encouraging voter participation and increasing awareness about state requirements and deadlines for voting.
“Voting is the best way to make your voice heard, and I want to see every eligible Iowan participate in the upcoming city and school elections in November,” said Pate. “In order to participate in our elections process, it’s critical to register to vote and make sure your registration is current. Registering to vote only takes a few minutes, but in voting, Iowans can make a long-lasting impact.”
To register to vote in Iowa, you must be at least 17 years old. The deadline to pre-register before November’s city-school election is Monday, Oct. 23. To check your voter registration status, register to vote, or update your information, visit VoterReady.Iowa.gov, or visit the auditor’s office.
Lastly, Ozuna shared details for candidates who are interested in filing for the November city/school election.
Montgomery County residents interested in running can begin filing papers to place their name on the Nov. 7 ballot.
Candidates will need to file a nomination petition and an affidavit of candidacy to get their name on the ballot. Those documents need to be filed with the auditor’s office for a seat with the city or with the school secretary for a seat on the school board.
Potential candidates in Montgomery County for city councils and school boards may be surprised how few signatures they will need to place their name on the ballot for this upcoming election.
“We have some city and school seats that only require collecting 10 signatures to get on the ballot,” said Ozuna. “I know the first roadblock for those thinking about running is collecting signatures on the nomination papers. However, I think that people might be surprised by how few they need to collect.”
Nomination papers along with the affidavit of candidacy must be turned into the auditor’s office or school secretary before 5 p.m. on Sept. 21.
The following are the races with signature requirements that will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot:
• Red Oak Mayor – 25+
• Red Oak Council Ward 1 – 25+
• Red Oak Council Ward 3 – 25+
• Red Oak Council at-large – 25+
• Elliott Mayor – 10+
• Elliott Council (2 at-large) – 10+
• Grant Mayor – 5+
• Grant Council (5 at-large) – 5+
• Villisca Mayor – 10+
• Villisca Council (3 at-large) – 10+
• Stanton Mayor – 10+
• Stanton Council (2 at-large) – 10+
• Stanton Council To Fill Vacancy (1 at-large) –10+
• Coburg Council (3 at-large) – 5+
• Red Oak School District (2 at-large) – 48+
• Stanton School District (2 at-large) – 10+
• Villisca School District (3 at-large) – 15+
• Southwestern Community College (District #2, #4, #7 and #8) – 50+
• Southwestern Community College To Fill Vacancy (District #3) – 50+
Ozuna said interested candidates will find useful information at sos.iowa.gov/ or at montgomerycountyia.gov. Forms can be printed from those websites.
Candidates may also pick up the required paperwork at the auditor’s office located in the Montgomery County Courthouse.
For more information about the 2023 city/school election, contact the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office at 623-5127.