Although his name is not on the ballot, Dakota Rundlett is hoping residents of Vinton will write in his name for the Third Ward City Council seat.
Rundlett, a 2016 graduate of the Reisch World Wide College of Auctioneering, runs his own auction business and is a correctional officer at the Benton County Jail.
After reading newspaper and Vinton Today stories about the city council election and realizing that no candidates had entered the race, Rundlett decided to begin a write-in campaign.
He ordered campaign signs, and has begun distributing them to friends, relatives and colleagues. He says he was excited as a kid on Christmas morning when the signs arrived.
The most important issue Rundlett says the City of Vinton is facing in the near future is within view of Rundlett’s home: The Iowa Braille School campus.
Rundlett believes the city should not accept ownership of the campus without a clear plan in place first, along a partnerships with people and companies who have participated in similar projects before.
“If three million people (the approximate Iowa population) couldn’t afford,” says Rundlett. “Then how can a small town like Vinton?”
Write-in vote procedure:
Under Iowa law, as with most other states, a person is declared elected as if his or her name had been printed on the ballot, if they received more votes than other candidates or write-in vote recipients. There is no minimum for city elections. A few years ago, a Vinton city council seat was filled after one man received four write-in votes.
All ballots, under the names of the candidates whose names are printed on the ballot, include a space for write-ins for each race. Voters must fill in the oval next to the write-in line and also write out the name of the person for whom they wish to vote.
“The machine will NOT count a Write-in vote if the oval is not filled in.” explains Gina Edler, the Benton County Election Clerk. “The voter would have to fill in the oval and write the person’s name on the line.”
Voters who want to write in a candidate should write out that candidate’s first and last name. Election officials are directed to disregard spelling discrepancies, although the Benton County Supervisors, under law, have the final say in determining what a voter’s intent was in writing in a name, says Edler.
After every election the county supervisors are legally required to canvass the votes, reviewing vote totals and examining write-in votes.
City elections take place Nov. 7. Click HERE for a story that lists all of the candidates for city offices within Benton County.