December 03, 2021

Ramsey report

What statutory duties does the Clarke County Attorney have in relation to elections? The Clarke County Attorney provides legal guidance to the Clarke County Auditor on election matters and is charged with investigating and prosecuting election misconduct. One of the common allegations of election misconduct is that a person has voted in an election when they really do not reside in the area conferring the legal right to vote.

When can a candidate in a local election request a recount and who pays for the recount process?

In Iowa, a candidate may request, no later than three days following the county canvass, that the county canvassing board order a recount. The candidate must pay for the recount, unless: the difference (based on abstracts) between the candidate and the apparent winner is less than the greater of 50 votes, or 1 percent of the total votes cast for the office; or, the results of the recount change the outcome of the election. In a case where a local election is determined by 1 vote, the County is likely to bear the cost of the recount.

In terms of October’s workload in the Clarke County Attorney’s Office, 1 jury trial and several bench trials were conducted. 11 felony cases came in and 6 were disposed. Felony cases are the most serious of criminal cases. The State’s case tracking system reflects an increase 81 to 88 pending felony cases for Clarke County. In October, 13 indictable misdemeanors came in and 17 were disposed. The State’s case tracking system reflects that the pending number is down from 177 to 173 cases.

In October, 252 simple misdemeanors came in and 336 were disposed. The State’s case tracking system reflects that the number of pending simple misdemeanors is down 550 to 465.

In September, the Clarke County Attorney’s Office juvenile case load included 1 new Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) cases and 1 disposed. The State’s case tracking system reflects remains steady at a total of 95 pending juvenile cases.