Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

September 6, 2018 New voter ID rules lead to ballot denial mix-up in Mid-Prairie school board election
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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Confusion of new voting rules led to one Wellman resident being denied a ballot during a special election last week.

Susan McClellen of Wellman arrived at the polling place at Parkside Activities Center in Wellman to vote in the Mid-Prairie special school board election on Tuesday, Aug. 28. However, she forgot to bring her photo ID.

“I was not allowed to vote because I did not bring my ID,” McClellen said. “I was not allowed the option of signing an oath of identification as the law allows.”

New Iowa voting rules require a photo ID, but for 2017 elections, voters without ID are supposed to be given the opportunity to vote with a provisional ballot.

“It was an honest mistake, but an unfortunate one,” Washington County Elections Administrator Sue Meeks said. “The poll worker was doing their diligence by asking for an ID, but a provisional ballot was not offered.”

She added that this was an isolated incident and no one else was wrongfully denied a ballot.

McClellen said that she understands that it was an honest mistake.

“It was a simple mix-up by the poll workers,” McClellen said. “They were not trained on the new election rules. I do not fault them at all.”

Meeks said that all poll workers would be thoroughly trained on the issue in the coming weeks.

“We’re definitely going to emphasize this in training before the general election,” she said.

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