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Newell still not registered to vote locally

Auditor: Candidate needs to sign form

October 18, 2012

An online voter registration may have led to confusion on where Webster County District 2 Republican supervisor candidate Aaron Newell was registered to vote at the time of a candidate forum Tuesday evening at Iowa Central Community College.

When the seven candidates present at the forum were asked if they are registered voters and where they vote, each answered "yes" and named their designated polling place.

Newell, who recently returned to Webster County from Ames, said he was registered to vote in Moorland.

But the candidate, who moved to the family farm northwest of Callender shortly after he announced his candidacy, was apparently mistaken.

The online voter registration database on the Iowa secretary of state's website lists Newell as a registered Story County voter with an Ames polling place. The website states that records are current through Tuesday evening.

Newell submitted his nomination as a Republican candidate in District 2 in March and listed an Ames address on his nomination papers.

According to Iowa election laws, candidates don't have to be registered to vote in the district where they are running, but once they're elected they do.

The Iowa secretary of state's website lists the following candidate qualifications for county supervisors. They must be:

Newell said he registered online to vote in Webster County after filing for election, but that he was unaware that his signature was needed on a form before it would be submitted.

"There were registration issues. I did all of the online registration things," Newell said Wednesday. "But you can't do your signature."

Webster County Auditor Carol Messerly said a candidate can file for office in a county in which they do not live as long as they become a resident by the time of election.

"He did everything right," Messerly said Wednesday of Newell's filing. "He was very careful about not misleading. He put an Ames address on his papers. He was honest about that."

Since filing for candidacy, Newell said he has moved to an acreage on the family's farm in rural Callender and is a Webster County resident.

According to Messerly, for an online or emailed registration to be complete, the registered voter must follow up on the registration with their signature at their auditor's office.

"They need to follow up with the original. We have to have a signature on file," she said. "Anyone going online needs to follow up on their form. Then they would get a new voter ID within seven to 10 days."

As of office closing time Wednesday, Messerly said she had not received a signed form from Newell.



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