Joel Miller

Linn County Auditor Joel Miller says his office is still receiving sample ballots back from voters who mistook them for real ones.

Some 300 voters have mailed in the documents with their candidates marked off. The ballots are watermarked with the word “sample” and are meant to inform voters on their choices.

“Lots of people followed the instructions and a very few — less than a percent — did not follow the instructions,” according to Miller.   Miller says sending out the sample ballots is worth it — as 3,000 voters have requested absentee ballots that likely wouldn’t have if they hadn’t gotten the mailing.

“I will actually plan on lobbying legislators to make it a requirement. Because I think there’s way more good that comes out of this than harm. And people not reading instructions is not…is not anything new.”

Miller sent letters explaining the issue to those who mailed in the sample ballots. He says 40 voters didn’t put a return address on the ballots, which left him with no way to contact them. Still he’s urging all voters to turn out, and to read their mail closely.

(Thanks to Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio/Photo courtesy of Linn Count Auditor website)