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Find out which cartoon characters and animals got votes in the recent Sioux City elections | Local news

Gill said changes Iowa legislators made to the state's election laws will allow the absentee board to review the tape those write-ins were captured on. A Journal analysis of write-in votes, which were recorded by election officials by hand after the polls closed, revealed that Sioux Cityans penned in more than 100 unique names on their ballots, while a few wrote a message.

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Armando Perez pictured voting at the Perry Creek Elementary School location on Tuesday. Positions on the Sioux City school board and Sioux City council were up for vote during the Nov. 2 election.





SIOUX CITY — What do Mickey Mouse, Santa Claus and Abraham Lincoln all have in common? They each received write-in support in the Nov. 2 Sioux City Council and school board elections.

A Journal analysis of write-in votes, which were recorded by election officials by hand after the polls closed, revealed that Sioux Cityans penned in more than 100 unique names on their ballots, while a few wrote a message. 

Gill



"I think what they’re doing is just expressing that they don’t really agree with all the candidates," Woodbury County Auditor Pat Gill said. "Sometimes, if it’s to fill in three, they’ll vote for two and, then, they’ll write someone in just because they don’t like any of the other candidates."

Only 14.64% of the city’s 39,289 registered voters cast ballots on Nov. 2. 

In the Sioux City Council election, incumbents Dan Moore and Alex Watters and first-time candidate Matthew O’Kane won the three open seats. Newcomer Ike Rayford finished fourth.

The school board election had nine candidates for three open seats. Bob Michaelson and Jan George, both longtime teachers in the district, were the top two vote-getters, with Perla Alarcon-Flory, the only incumbent on the ballot, capturing the third seat. The large field also included Arthur Ryan Baker, Shaun Broyhill, Michael Bushby, Chad Krastel, Amanda Gibson and Joshua Potter. 

Gill said write-ins need to receive at least 5% of the total vote in order for their names to appear on the official canvass. That didn’t occur in either race, so Gill described the write-in results as "a scattering." 

"Write-ins have always been difficult to communicate to the precinct election officials," Gill said. "They’re supposed to write down the contest and the name. They don’t do that. It’s late at night and they want to get out of there." 

Gill said changes Iowa legislators made to the state’s election laws will allow the absentee board to review the tape those write-ins were captured on. 

"What the law allows us to do is to have the absentee board come in and record the write-ins. That way, then the staff can help them do that properly," he said. 

Sioux City Council candidate Jake Jungers speaks with the Journal editorial board during an Oct. 25 interview. Jungers is among six candidates vying for three open seats on the council in the Nov. 7 election. 



Justin Wan, Sioux City Journal

Based on what election officials wrote down the night of Nov. 2, Jake Jungers, who unsuccessfully ran for one of three Sioux City Council positions in 2017, got four write-in votes for city council. Assistant Woodbury County Attorney James Loomis netted three votes for council, as well as an individual named Brian Rosner. Rosner also received two write-in votes in the school board election. 

Former Sioux City Councilwoman Rhonda Capron, who was defeated in 2019 by current Councilwoman Julie Schoenherr, got two votes, as did Sioux City businessman Dave Bernstein and Carlos Venable-Ridley, a former Democratic candidate for Iowa House District 54. 

Cornerstone senior pastor Cary Gordon and his son, Pastor Chace Gordon, each captured a pair of votes in both the council and school board races. 

Current Councilman Pete Groetken, who decided not to seek a third term, received a write-in vote for city council, as did former Councilman Jim Rixner, Sioux City businessman and former Iowa Republican state senator Rick Bertand, and Sioux City Economic Development Director Marty Dougherty. 

Jake, a pet of Sioux City Councilman Aaron Rochester, is shown in 2009. The dog ignited a controversy during Rochester’s term, one of the stories reporter Lynn Zerschling chronicled during her tenure at the Journal. 


"Jake Rochester," former Councilman Aaron Rochester’s Labrador retriever, fetched one write-in vote for council, down from the 62 write-in votes the pooch grabbed in November 2009.

Of all the write-ins he has come across over the years, Gill considers Jake the dog among the "most memorable." Jake bit a neighbor in 2009, was declared vicious, and, while on death row in a pen at Sioux City Animal Control, was kidnapped in August of that year. 

Although he’s not up for re-election for two more years, Mayor Bob Scott got a vote for council, as did current Woodbury County Supervisor Matthew Ung. School Board Vice President Monique Scarlett received a vote in the school board election, too. A citizen also wrote in "Feenstra" for school board, likely casting his or her vote for 4th District Rep. Randy Feenstra.

An individual wrote "Fire Gausman" to apparently express dissatisfaction with Sioux City Superintendent Paul Gausman. Another voter penned "Let’s Go Brandon," a phrase that has become code for insulting President Joe Biden. 

Source: https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/find-out-which-cartoon-characters-and-animals-got-votes-in-the-recent-sioux-city-elections/article_e20635e8-973a-5491-82fa-63e8dfccf9e8.html

More Local news

Find out which cartoon characters and animals got votes in the recent Sioux City elections | Local news

Gill said changes Iowa legislators made to the state’s election laws will allow the absentee board to review the tape those write-ins were captured on.
A Journal analysis of write-in votes, which were recorded by election officials by hand after the polls closed, revealed that Sioux Cityans penned in more than 100 unique names on their ballots, while a few wrote a message.

Read More »

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