Voters, take care to make your ballots count


The good news is Linn County voters, clearly, are highly motivated to cast their ballots this fall.

So much so that when the Linn County Auditor’s Office sent out sample ballots to more than 90,000 registered voters, 489 people filled out that sample, apparently thinking it to be a real ballot. The word ‘sample’ scrawled across the ballot faded during printing. The mailing included an absentee ballot request form and a return envelope, prompting some to erroneously mail in the sample ballot.

Unfortunately, 44 of those returned samples lacked a return address, making it impossible for auditor’s staff to alert those voters of their mistake. We hope a series of media reports have reached those voters, who can still vote by traditional means. Sent-in samples have been shredded.

Now that the auditor’s office is in the midst of mailing and handling thousands of absentee ballots and requests, we agree with Auditor Joel Miller that another mailing alerting voters to the sample ballot issue could create more confusion.

This episode is a reminder that mistakes can cost voters their right to be heard.

Two years ago in Linn County, more than 3,000 requested absentee ballots never were returned. Among those returned, 180 voters failed to provide a signature.

Due to copyright laws, I cannot paste the entire editorial here.  To continue reading, go to and login  – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

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