The state’s top election official is telling county auditors they cannot place absentee ballot drop boxes outside their offices.
Some county auditors say the advice conflicts with past practices. In the June Primary, as county office buildings were closed due to the pandemic, drop boxes were placed outside for voters in many counties. At least three dozen counties already have a drop box option for this fall’s election. Many of the boxes are located in or outside the county courthouse or other county building.
The Linn County Board of Supervisors has voted to designate three drop boxes in front of grocery stores as county-provided accessories. Linn County Auditor Joel Miller said the county is using its home rule authority.
“It reinforces that the drop boxes have always been part of the auditor’s office,” Miller said, “and that election materials can be placed into those drop boxes.”
A spokesman for the secretary of state says there were complaints about unsecured and unsupervised ballot drop boxes next to trash cans at a grocery store — as Miller is doing — and that’s why the office is issuing legal advice to auditors.
(By Iowa Public Radio’s Katarina Sostaric)