Voting

By Joey May

Registered voters can cast their ballots before Tuesday at designated polling places such as the Brown County Courthouse.

The Brown County Clerk’s Office has seen several residents vote early for the upcoming Aug. 4 primary election.

Brown County Clerk Melissa Gormley told county commissioners at Monday’s meeting that she has seen an increase in numbers with 833 ballots already out as of that day, with 310 returned and 121 in person voting at the early voting locations — which do include the Brown County Courthouse.

Gormley also said her staff will implement extensive cleaning procedures for the voting polls that include cleaning handles and tables every two hours. The Secretary of State’s office provided pens that voters can take home once they use hem. She said her office also purchased additional gloves, masks and shields for the voting tables.

Gormley said it was a little harder to get volunteers to run the polls, due to concern over the COVID-19 pandemic. She said masks are recommended at the polls — but not required.

The following is information concerning the 2020 primary candidates and voting:

The county clerk’s offices reminds residents that all city positions are “nonpartisan” — the candidate does not declare a party affiliation. This year there were not more than three filing in the same party for any of the open positions and so those do not require a primary election. All 2020 city positions will be voted on in November in the general election.

All other positions such as township and county — if they have at least two in the same party that have filed — will be decided upon in the primary election, set for Aug. 4.

Voter registration deadline was July 14. Anyone can register vote, but those who are currently registered as a Democrat or Republican who would like to change parties won’t be able to do so until Sept. 1. Unaffiliated voters may affiliate up to and on Election Day and vote a regular ballot. First-time voters were able to register to vote until close of voter registration on July 14. After that date, any voter wanting to register for the first time or change their party affiliation from Democrat or Republican to Democrat or Republican must vote a provisional ballot.

Early voting began in July on specific dates at locations throughout the county and will continue daily at the Brown County Courthouse until the election. Voting in Hiawatha will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Fisher Center.

County and Judicial Filings (Primary and General)

District Judge District 22, Div 2 (four-year term): incumbent John Weingart (R) has refiled and is running unopposed.

District 2 Brown County Commission (four-year term): Lamar Shoemaker (R) has filed for the position currently held by Keith Olsen, who did not refile.

District 3 Brown County Commission (four-year term): Dwight A Kruse (R) has filed for re-election and is being challenged by William Pollock (R).

Brown County Clerk (four-year term): Dawn Boyles (R) has filed for the position currently held by Melissa Gormley, who initially filed for re-election, but withdrew. Boyles is running unopposed.

Brown County Treasurer (four-year term): Betty (BJ) Spiker (R) and Ann Olson (R) have filed for the position currently held by Cheryl Lippold, who did not file for re-election.

Brown County Register of Deeds (four-year term): Nellie Brockhoff (R) filed for re-election and is running unopposed.

Brown County Attorney (four-year term): Kevin Hill (R) has filed for re-election and is running unopposed.

Brown County Sheriff (four-year term): John D. Merchant Sr. (R) has filed for re-election and is being challenged by Dennis Entrikin (R).

Hiawatha City Filings (General Election)

Commissioner of police (four-year term): Dustin Williams has filed for re-election and is being challenged by L. Evans Woehlecke.

Commissioner of streets and parks (four-year term): Becky Shamburg has filed for re-election and is being challenged by Paul Mendez and Nicholas Blevins.

Commissioner of Utilities (four-year term): Toni J. Hull has filed for re-election and is being challenged by Brian Shefferd.

Other Filings

Fairview City Council: Mayor Art Vonderschmidt has filed for re-election and city council member Doug Bletscher has filed for re-election. The position of John Armstrong’s city council position is up for election, but no one has filed.

Irvin Township: Curtis Blevins (D) has filed for re-election as trustee. Also up for vote is the position of treasurer, currently held by JoLynn Siebenmorgen, who has not filed.

Padonia Township: Bradley Swearingen (R) has filed for re-election as trustee. Also up for election is the position of treasurer, currently held by Jeffrey Gormley, who has not filed for re-election.

Hamlin Township: Victor Menold (R) has filed for re-election as trustee and Joseph Noll (R) has filed for re-election as treasurer.

Morrill Township: Ryan Menold (R) has filed for re-election as trustee and Brent Wikle (R) has filed for re-election as treasurer.

Walnut Township: Zon Middendorf (R) has filed for re-election as trustee and Brett Trentman (R) has filed for re-election as treasurer.

Hiawatha Township: David Pfister (R) has filed for re-election as trustee and is being challenged by Michael Patton (R) and John D. Merchant Jr. (R). Larry Weast has filed for re-election as treasurer.

Robinson Township: Allen Torkelson (R) has filed for re-election as trustee. Bryce Tryon (R) has filed for re-election as treasurer.

Washington Township: Laurence Berger (R) has filed for re-election as trustee and Joe Bunck (R) has filed for re-election as treasurer.

Mission Township: The position of trustee, currently held by Jerry Gifford, is up for election — Gifford did not refile. Rodney Rice (R) has filed for re-election as treasurer.

Powhattan Township: Frank Mueseler (R) has filed for re-election as trustee and Ronald Rettele has filed for re-election as treasurer.

There are also several precinct committee positions up for election.

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