Letter to the editor: Uncounted ballots show ‘appalling incompetence’

A miscalcualtion in the number of Dallas County absentee ballots cast in the 2016 general election has led to an adjustment in the totals.

To the editor:

The news that the “omitted absentee ballots amounted to about 13 percent of the 44,430 votes cast in Dallas County in the November election” (ThePerryNews.com, Feb. 7, 2017) showed appalling incompetence.

A total of 5,842 absentee ballots went unreported in the 2016 general election.

These unreported votes will never be counted as part of the election result because the Republican county auditor who retired in January failed to find the human error. Then the Dallas County Republican supervisors failed in their certifying of the election results.

So it took three months for the Iowa Secretary of State to find the error — too long to correct the error.

The Dallas County Supervisors, Kim Chapman, Brad Golightly and Mark Hanson, are required by law to prepare a certificate showing the total number of people who cast ballots in the election.

According to Iowa Code 50.24.5, “Any obvious clerical errors in the tally lists from the precincts shall be corrected by the supervisors. Complete records of any changes shall be recorded in the minutes of the canvass.”

As a candidate for Dallas County Supervisor in 2016, I cannot be sure even that my absentee ballot was counted. At the county level, voters should consider qualifications, competence and willingness to work full-time, not a candidate’s political party.

The Dallas County Supervisors brag that they can do all that is necessary by working part-time on a full-time salary of $53,000 a year. They do not even hold office hours or post on the Dallas County website their phone numbers or email addresses.

Since they have an “R” behind their names on the ballot, they are smug in their belief that they will be reelected. In other words, no accountability.

Julie Stewart


  1. My understanding is the unaccounted for ballots were proportional, and the results would not have changed. Still, it could have very well made a difference, just not this time. What I would like to know is whether the ballots in question came from any particular part of the county. Perry is heavily Democratic but is surrounded by a sea of Republicans. The town has already been gerrymandered into political irrelevance. If it turns out the uncounted ballots came predominantly from Perry, I can guarantee you all the brown matter is on a collision course for the rotary air circulator.


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