“As far as our office is concerned, it went about the best it’s ever gone,” said Crawford County Auditor Terri Martens about Election Day last Tuesday.
“I thought it went great.”
Deputy auditors Bethany Linkenhoker and Amy Pieper handled all the troubleshooting calls for the county’s Precinct Election Officials (PEO).
The deputy auditors didn’t have to visit the precincts on Election Day and were able to walk the PEOs through any issues on the phone, Martens said.
“The PEOs handled it like champs,” she said. “I think our voters are well-adapted to some of the equipment we’ve been using for the last couple of elections and that all helps.”
Martens said the single Denison precinct did not present any major problems for voters.
“There may have been a couple of times they were lined up, but we had four laptops registering people in and getting them going through the process of voting, so the lines didn’t last long,” she said.
Mail-in ballots didn’t present any problems for counting.
“The law that we have in Iowa allowed us to have our absentee board convene that last Saturday when were open prior to the election,” Martens said. “They convened in Crawford County to sort and begin to open the affidavit envelopes.”
The affidavit envelop is the envelope used by a voter to mail in a ballot.
The absentee board was allowed to start opening envelopes on the Saturday prior to the election and pull out the secrecy sleeves with the ballots inside.
“Then we stored them that way in a secure location, in the secrecy sleeves, until Monday,” Martens said.
The absentee ballot count started at 11 a.m. on Election Day and was finished by 5:30 or 6 p.m., she said.
Martens said she believes all the ballots will be accounted for when the counting and canvassing process is complete.
“We keep very good records of ballots that go out and that are voted in our office and handled in the vote canvass,” she said.
The absentee board reconvened on Monday to count the ballots that came in the day of the election and the others that were eligible to be counted.
“The ones that were able to be counted, of the mail-in ballots, had to be postmarked prior to Election Day and received in our office by noon today (Monday),” Martens said.
Three ballots received by the auditor’s office were postmarked after Election Day.
“Those people will receive letters to let them know that we received their ballots but they were not postmarked in time to be counted,” she said.
Six other ballots were “deficient” in that the affidavit envelopes had not been signed.
“Most of those issues were resolved prior to Election Day,” Martens said.
One of the deficient ballots was not able to be corrected by the voter, she said.
Twenty-three additional ballots were counted on Monday, but Martens said the votes did not result in any significant changes to the election results.
The canvass of votes by the Crawford County Board of Supervisors was scheduled to begin this morning (Tuesday) at 10:30 a.m.