County supervisor names left off ballot in eastern Iowa race

DES MOINES, Iowa — Voters in a small precinct in eastern Iowa missed the chance Tuesday to vote for a contested county supervisor seat when county election officials inadvertently left the candidate names off their ballots.

Linn County Auditor Joel Miller said the error was made when ballots were sent to printers more than a month ago.

“It’s a failure of my office and I’m responsible for my office. It was ultimately my fault,” he said as he apologized to the candidates and voters.

Miller said the candidates may contest the election, sending it to a panel of people who will decide whether a new election is ordered. Linn County has three supervisor districts and the ballot error was in an area with 2,200 registered voters, Miller said.

Democratic candidate Kirsten Running-Marquardt said it was an unfortunate mistake.

“Every vote and every voter is significant to me. This was a mistake and moving forward I want to make sure that voters in Putnam Township, regardless of its size, have their voices heard,” she said.

Running-Marquardt served in the Iowa House for 13 years before deciding to pursue an open seat on the county board.

Republican candidate Mark Banowetz did not immediately return a call placed with his campaign treasurer.

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