|Preview of the Mahaska County Ballot|
|Written by Aaron Riggs|
|Friday, 02 November 2012 11:55|
Whether you're voting absentee or waiting till election day, your ballot will look the same. But what you see on your ballot will depend on where you live in the county. CRI's Aaron Riggs joins us in the news room to break down the ballot so you'll know what to expect when you get to the booth.
Anyone voting in the city of Oskaloosa will find their ballots all look the same. And here's what you'll find.
In the left hand column on the front page, you'll find the option to vote a Straight Party ticket -- which means if you choose Republican Party, all the republican candidates on the front page will receive your vote...and if you choose Straight Party Democratic – all the democratic candidates will receive your vote. You can override your straight party vote for an individual race by voting for your candidate of choice in that race.
In the middle on the front page is where you'll vote for federal government offices -- that's for President and U.S. Representative. As you see, there are more candidates running for president than just the Republican and Democrat you've commonly heard of, including candidates for the Constitution Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party, Party of Socialism and Liberation, the Socialist Workers Party, and an eighth candidate who was Nominated by Petition.
Underneath that you'll vote for the representative to Congress from Iowa's new second congressional district: Republican John Archer, Democratic incumbent Dave Loebsack, and another candidate who was nominated by petition, Alan Aversa.
Then in the right hand column of the front page, you'll find the races for the Iowa legislature and Mahaska County Offices. Every ballot will contain the County Office candidates...for a seat on the Board of Supervisors are candidates Mike Vander Molen and Tom Rielly...for Auditor, Susan Brown is running unopposed...and for Sheriff, Paul DeGeest also has no opposition. And all of Mahaska County will vote for the same State Senate candidates, Ken Rozenboom from the GOP, and Democrat Tim Tripp.
But the State Representative candidates will be different depending on where you live in the county.
If you live in the city of Oskaloosa and within the western half of the county, you'll vote for for a representative from Iowa House District 79, either incumbent Guy Vander Linden or challenger Chris Wilson. And if you live outside of Oskaloosa and in the eastern half of the county, you'll vote for the District 80 representative, either Larry Sheets or Joseph Judge.
Once you're done voting on the front side, don't forget to turn the ballot over -- and keep in mind that a Straight Party vote on the front, does *not* cast a vote for *anyone* on the back. The back page contains non-partisan races and the judicial retention vote.
For voters in Oskaloosa, the non-partisan offices you'll be voting on are for County Public Hospital Trustee, Soil & Water Conservation District Commissioner, and County Agricultural Extension Council. If you live in a county township, and not within an incorporated city, you'll see a place to vote for a Township Trustee. The person running for this position is different on all ballots, depending on where you live in the county.
The rest of the ballot is reserved for the Judicial Retention election for the Iowa Supreme Court, Iowa Court of Appeals, District Court judges in district 8A, and the area District Court Associate Judge. For each judge, you'll have the option to vote Yes or No, to indicate whether you want that judge to remain in office.
In the Supreme Court column, you may recognize a name, "David Wiggins". Justice Wiggins was part of the 2009 Supreme Court majority in a case that ultimately led to same-gender marriage being legal in Iowa. It's here that you'll vote Yes or No for Wiggins to continue serving as a Supreme Court justice...along with three other current justices, *none* of whom were on the court at the time of that controversial 2009 ruling.
For CRI Weekly News I'm Aaron Riggs
You'll also see a spot on the ballot for a Write-In vote. You can use this space to cast a vote in that race for anyone you choose.
The polls open in Oskaloosa next Tuesday at 7:00 AM and close at 9:00 PM. If you would like to look over the ballot for your precinct, find out where you'll go to vote, or learn more about the candidates -- visit our website, CRItv.org, and click on the voter guide.