NOTICE: In the Osceola Sentinel’s print version of this feature, it was inadvertently stated that “Plan 2” would remove the requirement for the representative to live in the district for which they represent. That was a misstatement and has been retracted from this posting. The information in The Sentinel’s printed article was not verified by the Clarke County Auditor.
Early in July, the County received a petition, presented by a group of citizens requesting a special vote on revising the plans for how districts within the county are represented and representatives are elected. With the required signatures on the petition, a special election was coordinated and will be held Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 to decide if a new plan for electing County Supervisors will be adopted.
Currently, the County Supervisors are elected to serve through voting held during primary and general elections. Votes to elect each Supervisor are submitted by three independent districts within the county. Supervisor representatives must live within the district they represent. Currently, Dean Robins represents District I. Larry Keller represents District II. And Marvin McCann represents District III.
The vote being held next Tuesday will potentially change how representation is made as well as who decides on each district’s representation. The sample ballot provided by the Clarke County Auditor outlines the following options:
Plan “one” – At large and without district residence requirements for the members.
This plan would remove the district representation and put the County Supervisor vote up to be determined by the county as a whole. Representatives would not be required to live in nor be nominated by a particular district.
Plan “two” – At large but with equal-population district residence requirements for the members.
This plan would require the representative to live within an individual district and the vote would be made by voters from the entire county.
Plan “three” – From a single-member equal-population districts in which the electors of each district shall elect one member who must reside in that district.
This plan requires each district to elect a representative independently and each elected official must reside in the district that voted for them. Currently, Plan “three” is how Clarke County Supervisors are elected.
As it stands, the biggest concern for the plans is maintaining balanced representation for citizens in each of the county’s districts. Plan “one” removes the district residence and representation requirement leaving representation up to a county vote “At Large.” While this possibly could open representation options up to a wider pool of nominees, it also increases the chances of unbalanced representation. Plans “two” and “three” maintain district residence representation but officials would be elected through different voting pools.
Ultimately the voting on August 6th will make the decision as to how County Supervisors are elected. According to Janice White, Clarke County Auditor, the last county-wide special election was held in 2007 and garnered a 35.49% turnout. With numerous notices posted in the newspaper and shared online, turnout expectations for this election are high.
The election will be tallied for a plurality result, meaning the plan on the ballot with the most votes will be adopted.
Election Day polls will be open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 p.m. on August 6th, 2019.
If you have additional questions or need to find your polling location, contact the Clarke County Auditor’s office at 100 South Main, Osceola, Iowa 50213, email Janice White, Clarke County Auditor at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (641) 342-3315.