Page County Courthouse

(Clarinda) -- Even after the results come in Tuesday night, the general elections may not be over in KMAland.

Polls for the citywide and school board elections are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. But, Page County Auditor Melissa Wellhausen reminds voters that all results are unofficial until the county board of supervisor's post-election canvas. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Monday morning, Wellhausen says the canvassing is a two-tier process.

"The first tier canvas actually takes place on November 9th," said Wellhausen. "Basically, those are our Page County results. Then, the second tier takes place on November 16th. That basically is the final canvas if a jurisdiction has more than one county. So, if a school district is in more than one county, that second final canvas is the official one, because it brings in any other county into those results, as well."

For example, results of the Shenandoah mayor's race and Shenandoah School Board are also counted in Fremont County, since Shenandoah's city limits and school board boundaries extend into the county.

"You vote in the county you live in," she said. "So, if a school district goes into that extra other county, that's where that extra county comes into place. For say, like, the Clarinda School District, with having some (residents) that live on the outside of Page County, those results will come in from Taylor County. And, we will report our results for Stanton and some of those school districts up in Montgomery County. so, that's where kind of that second tier comes into place."

And, with seven candidates running for mayor of Shenandoah, and eight candidates seeking two spots on the Clarinda School Board, the possibility of a tie looms large. Wellhausen says state law sets procedures for breaking ties, and for any recount requests.

"If there is a tie, then we go back to the (Iowa) code," said Wellhausen. "Basically, the code says you draw out of a hat. So, potentially, those kinds of things could happen. Those are things where if we get to those, we try to handle them to the best of our abilities. Then, for recounts and anything like that, if somebody requests a recount, that creates a whole new process. Then, we'll walk through that."

Residents in two Page County communities and one school district have no candidates to decide. No one registered for mayoral or city council races in Blanchard and Hepburn, or for the South Page School Board. Wellhausen says write-ins will fill those empty spots.

"Individuals will come in," he said. "They'll still have a ballot to vote--it just won't have any names listed on it. They'll just have write-in positions. In that case, they'll fill in the oval by the write-in, and they'll put the person or the candidate that they those. In the end, we'll go through and whoever gets the most write-ins will win that race, then."

Monday was the last day for absentee voting at county auditor's offices. As of Monday, Wellhausen says 306 of the 335 absentee ballots requested through the mail or at the auditor's office had been returned. Anyone with questions regarding poll locations or other election-related information should contact the Page County Auditor's Office at 712-542-3219. You can hear the full interview with Melissa Wellhausen here:

Page County Auditor Melissa Wellhausen previews Tuesday's general election--including absentee voting, polling locations, COVID precautions, canvassing of the results and tiebreaking procedures.

A reminder: KMA News will have special reports on Tuesday's results with "Election Night in KMAland" after the polls close. You can also keep track of the results on-line at kmaland.com. .

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