Fayette County Board of Supervisors
Newsletter

August 2017 - From the Chairman:

Before you start reading too far into this article, the information that I will be
sharing with you, was taking from an article in the June issue of the Iowa County
magazine written by Heidi Burhans, Madison County Auditor, she has given me
permission to use the article to share with the public.

With the start of the new Fiscal Year, July 1, 2017, new legislation has been
implemented that will affect voters at the local/state level.

HF 471 – The county commissioner of elections (Auditor) may consolidate
precincts for any elections. Previously, precinct consolidation was prohibited for
the primary or general election or any special election held under Iowa Code
69.14.

HR516 – (Voter identity verification) Political parties and candidates must submit
voter’s registration application to the Auditor within seven (7) days of receiving
them from the voters, within three (3) days of the pre-registration deadline, the
application must be submitted within 24 hours of receipt. There had been no
deadline prior to HF 516. Voter registration of a registered voter shall be
cancelled if the voter’s name is on the jury declination list due to non-residency
of Iowa or non-citizenship of the United State. A first-time voter who is
registering at the polls on election day (Election Day Registration - EDR) and
does not include a driver’s license, nonoperator ID or a Social Security number
on the voter registration application must provide proof of identity and of
residency when voting. Residential leases and property tax statement have
been added to the list of allowable proof of residency for this type of EDR voter.
Regarding Election Day Registration (EDR) a Veteran’s ID card will be allowed
to established identity and residency. Proof of residency documents must be
current within 45 days of the election, and residential lease dates must include
the date of the election. EDR attesters must also show proof of identification
(same as requires for voter identification). EDR voters must be verified against
the felon database which means that in the counties without e-pollbooks, all
EDR voters will vote provisional ballots. In counties with     e-pollbooks, only a
voter appearing in the database can be challenged.  Deadline to send EDR
acknowledgement to voter has been shortened from 45 days to 21 days.
Precinct Election Officials shall verify a voter’s identity before furnishing a ballot
to the voter. Voter identification includes driver’s license, nonoperator ID, U.S.
passport, U.S. military ID, or U.S. veteran’s ID. From July 1, 2017 through
January 1, 2019, this time period is referred to as a “soft rollout”, voters without
a driver’s license or nonoperator ID will receive a voter ID card from the
Secretary of the State. After that initial issuance, the Auditor will issue this ID to
future registrants. (During the soft rollout period, if a voter cannot provide an ID,
they must sign an Attestation form which will be repealed July 1, 2019).  A voter
new to a precinct must provide proof of identity and residency to update their
registration address at the poll.  Previously only a voter new to the county had
to provide such proof. If a voter does not provide an ID at the poll and
subsequently votes a provisional ballot, they must present an ID to the Auditor
by the deadline or the provisional ballot will be rejected.

Absentee voting will also see some changes. The Auditor may dispute an
absentee ballot form if the signature appears to have been signed by someone
other than the registered voter in comparing it to the signature on record of the
registered voter. An absentee ballot affidavit shall be considered defective if the
signature appears to have been signed by someone other than the registered
voter in comparing it to the signature on record of the registered voter. Each
political party may appoint up to five (5) observers to witness the reviewing of
absentee voter’s affidavits. Previously only one observer per party was allowed
in the room.

Also, effective January 1, 2018, concerning absentee voting.  One hundred
twenty (120) days prior to the election is the first date allowed for absentee
ballots requests to be submitted to the Auditor, if the request arrives before the
120 days the Auditor must return the form along with a notice of acceptance
date, to the voter.  Twenty-nine (29) days prior to the election is the first date
allowed for absentee ballots to be issued to voters.  There is a change in the
deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed, which went from four (4)
days to now 10 or 11 days before the election. There needs to be a voters’
verification number on the absentee ballot request form however for those
residing in health care facilities the voter verification number is not required.
Beginning January 1, 2019, a person may register to vote at the age of 17,
previously the age limit had been 17 and a half. The 17-year old registered
voter may vote in the primary election if they will be 18 by the general election.
HF 566 allows for the combination of the School and City Elections which takes
effect on July 1, 2019. As of now the elections of the directors of the local
school districts, merged areas and area educations agencies are held the
second Tuesday in September however with the new legislation the school
election will be move to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November
same as the city election. With Iowa Code 39.2(4)(b) limited special elections
dates for schools will also align with those for cities.
Some other changes include the elimination of the Straight Party Voting. Also,
the Auditor will file a certificate within 20 days following a general election that
the county met election requirements including equipment testing, PEO training,
polling place accessibility, publication schedule, and complied with
administrative rules.

You may contact me at: jtellin@co.fayette.ia.us

On a personal note: The voting article may have been a little boring to some
however there are changes that you as voters need to be aware of and the right
to vote is your voice.

Thanks to Fayette County Treasurer, Kyle Jacobsen, these articles are now
being archived for your convenience so if you missed one you can certainly
check the Fayette County website and pull up old article of “From the Chairman”
starting with the March 2016 article. Hope you have and will continue to enjoy
them.

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