Departments | Auditor | Election Information | November 6, 2012 General Election
Saturday, October 27th is the final day to pre-register to vote in the 2012 General Election. The office of the county auditor will be open until 5:00 p.m. on that date for eligible electors who wish to register in person. Completed voter registrations may be mailed to the county auditor, but must be either received by the above deadline or postmarked by the U. S. Postal Service on or before Monday, October 22nd in order to be pre-registered for this election.
Voters who are currently registered need not re-register unless they have changed residences from one county to another. A voter who has changed addresses within the same county as the voter is currently registered may change his/her voter registration address anytime before the election or at the voter's new polling site on Election Day.
Registering to vote is a legal requirement to be eligible to vote in Iowa. To be eligible to register and vote, you must:
√ be at least 18 years old by Election Day
√ be a United States citizen
√ be an Iowa resident
√ not have been convicted of a felony (or, if you have been convicted of a felony, have had your voting rights restored)
√ not have been judged mentally incompetent by a court
√ give up your right to vote in any other place.
Iowa law allows eligible persons to register and vote at the polls on Election Day. An Election Day registrant must provide acceptable proof of identity and current residency in the precinct. Click on the link below to see additional information.
Iowa law states that voter registration information is a public record. However, the use of that information is restricted to bona fide political purposes or to a bona fide official governmental purpose. Use for commercial purposes is specifically prohibited by law.
Persons advocating for or against a candidate or public measure on the ballot may request lists of registered voters from the county auditor's office in a variety of customized formats. For further information, stop by the county auditor's office in the courthouse or call (641) 421-3041.
Eligible and registered voters wishing to cast absentee ballots may vote in person at the office of the county auditor, or may make written requests for absentee ballots to be mailed to them.
Voting in person
Voters may cast absentee ballots on any regular business day prior to Election Day beginning Thursday, September 27, 2012. Regular business hours are 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.
Voting by mail
Written requests for absentee ballots:
√ require the voter's name, date of birth, voter registration address, the name or date of the election, and the voter's signature
√ should be addressed as follows:
Cerro Gordo County Auditor
220 N Washington Ave
Mason City IA 50401
It is important to specify the name of the election (2012 General Election) or date (11-06-2012).
A voter may personally deliver a voted absentee ballot to the county auditor's office or may designate any other person to do so. If the voter chooses to designate another person to deliver the voted absentee ballot, the voter may require the other person to fill out a receipt and give it to the voter, which the voter should keep. Iowa law requires the other person to deliver the voted absentee ballot to the county auditor's office by the time the polls close on election night or no later than 72 hours after picking up the ballot from the voter, whichever occurs first.
A voted absentee ballot may be delivered in-person to the county auditor's office on any regular business day. Regular business hours are from 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.
In order to be considered on time to be counted for the November 6, 2012 General Election, a voted absentee ballot that is personally delivered must be physically received in the county auditor's office by the time the polls close at 9:00 p.m. on election night.
A voted absentee ballot cannot be delivered to a polling place on Election Day; it will not be counted. However, a voter may surrender an absentee ballot to the precinct election officials at the voter's polling place on Election Day, and the voter will be allowed to vote at the polls.
Mailing voted absentee ballots
A voter may personally mail a voted absentee ballot to the county auditor's office or may designate any other person to do so. If the voter chooses to designate another person to mail the voted absentee ballot, the voter may require the other person to fill out a receipt and give it to the voter, which the voter should keep. Iowa law requires the other person to mail the voted absentee ballot to the county auditor's office in time to have it postmarked before Election Day or no later than 72 hours after picking up the ballot from the voter, whichever occurs first.
Return postage for mailed absentee ballots has already been applied to the ballot envelope, as required by Iowa law.
In order to be considered on time to be counted for the 2012 General Election, a voted absentee ballot that is mailed back to the county auditor's office must bear a postmark dated prior to Election Day and must be received back in the county auditor's office by noon on Tuesday, November 13th.
Regular business hours are 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also, the county auditor's office will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on the following days:
|Saturday, October 27th||for voter registration and absentee voting|
|Saturday, November 3rd||for absentee voting and returning absentee ballots|
The county auditor's office will be closed on the following days.
|Labor Day||Monday, September 3rd|
|Veterans Day||Monday, November 12th|
A voter in Cerro Gordo County will see one of 36 ballot types. Most of the ballots look the same for each voter, and differences are based on each voter's residence. County Supervisor Districts 1 and 3 are on the ballot in their respective precincts. Similarly, some voters will fill seats in Iowa Senate District 26 and Iowa House Districts 52, 53, and 54. Some persons will vote for trustees of the Clear Lake Sanitary District, and some rural voters will vote for township officers. Voters in the City of Mason City will see a question on the renewal of the local option sales tax, and voters in some cities may vote to fill vacancies in city offices.
Voters in Cerro Gordo County will use special paper ballots that will be counted at each precinct with the use of precinct-count optical-scan machines. Absentee ballots will be counted with the use of a high-speed optical-scan machine. In addition, for any voter who needs assistance in marking the ballot, a ballot-marking machine will be available in each precinct in the county. It will also be available for demonstrations and for absentee voting at the county auditor's office. All election equipment and related software has been tested and certified for use in the State of Iowa.
The order of political parties and candidate names is determined pursuant to Iowa law.
Partisan offices: Each county auditor decides the order of the two political parties on the ballot. For each partisan office in Cerro Gordo County in the 2012 General Election, the Democratic Party candidates will be listed first and the Republican Party candidates second (this order is reversed in gubernatorial election years). Following Democratic and Republican candidates, the county auditor decides the order of the other political parties and organizations. Candidates who are nominated by petition are listed last.
Nonpartisan offices: The order of candidate names for nonpartisan offices such as Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner, County Agricultural Extension Council, and Township Trustee are determined by the county auditor drawing lots.
Clear Lake Sanitary District Trustees: Candidates' names will be rotated if there are more candidates listed on the ballot than the number of positions to be filled. Ballots in the first precinct in which the office is listed on the ballot will show the candidates' names in alphabetical order by last name. The candidates' names will be rotated in each subsequent precinct by moving the first name to the end.
The public test of the county voting system will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 in the Cerro Gordo Election Annex at 121 3rd Street NW, Mason City.
On Election Day, the polls will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m.
Pursuant to Iowa law, the absentee board (special precinct board) is composed of precinct election officials appointed by the Democrat and Republican Parties and by the county auditor.
The absentee board will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, November 5th to prepare for the opening and counting of absentee ballots. The board will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 6th to open and count voted absentee ballots. Results from absentee ballots will not be released until shortly after the polls close at 9:00 p.m.
Poll Watcher Designation Form
Election night results are expected to be available by 11:00 p.m. The county auditor's office in the courthouse will be open until all precincts have reported. Members of the public are welcome to be present, to call in for results, or to check up-to-date totals on this website.
Election night results are unofficial. They include absentee ballots and results from the precincts, but do not include results from provisional ballots that are subsequently determined to have been valid. They also do not include any valid voted absentee ballots that were postmarked prior to Election Day and that are received by noon on Tuesday, November 13th.
The Cerro Gordo County board of supervisors will meet in special session at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13th to canvass the results of the 2012 General Election. At this meeting the board will canvass the tally lists and prepare official abstracts of the election results. The canvass will include election night results, as well as any provisional ballots and late-absentee ballots that are determined to be valid and on time. The meeting is open to the public.
A candidate or a person who advocates for or against a candidate or a ballot issue may be subject to requirements and restrictions of Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure laws. Campaign finance disclosure forms, brochures, and other information are available at www.iowa.gov/ethics:
Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board
510 E 12th, Suite 1A
Des Moines IA 50319
(515) 281-4028 phone (515) 281-4073 fax