Maintaining the integrity of an election – candidates cannot be election workers

Candidates cannot be election workers unless you are a County Auditor.  And the exception for Auditors is based upon the Auditors’ statutory duty to administer elections.  A previous post explains how the Linn County Auditor will administer the June 2016 primary election.

In Linn County, we have about 600 eligible residents willing to serve as election workers aka precinct election officials (PEOs).  Frequently, one or more of those PEOs are related to a candidate on the ballot.  And PEOs related to candidates with opponents on the ballot cannot serve as election workers.  It’s not discrimination; it’s the law.

Further, candidates cannot work as PEOs when their name is on the ballot.  This includes being a PEO at the polls, at the absentee precinct, and working as rovers and transporters.  Again, it’s not discrimination; it’s the law.

Below is an excerpt from Code of Iowa section 49.16 stating the law:

No person shall serve on the election board at any election in which the person or any person related to the person within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity is a candidate to be voted upon in that precinct, and it shall be the responsibility of each person whose name is listed on the election board panel to notify the commissioner not less than fifteen days before any election at which the person is ineligible to serve by reason of this subsection. However, this subsection shall not apply in the case of any candidate or relative of a candidate seeking an office or nomination which no opposing candidate is seeking. Any candidate for an office or for nomination to an office to which two or more persons are to be elected at large is unopposed, for the purpose of this subsection, if the number of candidates for the office or nomination does not exceed the number of persons to be elected or nominated.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor.

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