How can I get an absentee ballot for my son or daughter who is in college?
A college student may register at the student's "permanent" home address or at the college residence, but not both. Your son or daughter must complete and sign an Absentee Ballot Request and deliver/mail it to the appropriate County Auditor.
How can I get an absentee ballot for my son or daughter serving in the military?
Iowa law authorizes additional voter registration and absentee voting rights for Iowans actively serving in the military or living outside the United States. More information
What if I lost my absentee ballot that was mailed to me?
To request a replacement ballot:
Contact the County Auditor's office at (641) 421-3027 and advise them of the situation
You will be asked to complete and sign a form stating that you lost or never received the absentee ballot
Ask for a replacement absentee ballot
What if I made a mistake on my absentee ballot?
If a mistake is made on the absentee ballot:
Insert the ballot in the Return Envelope
Write "Spoiled Ballot" on the envelope
Return it to the County Auditor's office
Request a replacement ballot
How can I get an absentee ballot for this election?
An absentee ballot can be secured in one of the following ways:
You must complete and sign the Absentee Ballot Request and return it to the County Auditor's office.
You may call their office and request a form be mailed to you.
You may sign a written request that includes:
Name and date of birth
Mailing address, if different from your registration address
Election name or date of election
Cerro Gordo County Auditor
220 N. Washington Ave.
Mason City, IA 50401
Can I use a Power of Attorney to request a ballot for my spouse?
No. Iowa law specifically prohibits the use of a Power of Attorney to request an absentee ballot on behalf of another voter.
Can I pick up my ballot at the County Auditor's office?
No. Iowa law prohibits a voter from removing a ballot from a polling place or the County Auditor's office. If you are not ready to vote in person at the County Auditor's office, you may sign an Absentee Ballot Request for a ballot to be mailed to you.
Why do they scan your driver's license at the polls on Election Day?
The computerized election register offers a voter the option of scanning a driver's license or registered voter card as a fast and easy check-in method.
Will I need to show identification at the polls on Election Day?
Beginning January 1, 2018
Registered voters will be asked to show their ID before voting at the polls. Anyone who does not have their ID will be asked to sign an oath verifying their identity and will then be allowed to cast a regular ballot.
Voters requesting absentee ballots will be required to include their driver's license/non-operator's ID number ortheir voter ID PIN (found on voter ID card) on the absentee ballot request form.
Beginning January 1, 2019
Iowa voters will be required to show one the following at the polls before they vote:
Iowa driver's license
voter ID PIN
Don't have an ID?
If a registered voter does not have an Iowa driver's license or non-operator's ID, a voter ID card will be issued free of charge. Voter ID cards must be signed before going to the polls on Election Day.
What's next after I sign the Voter's Declaration of Eligibility form?
You will exchange the completed and signed Voter's Declaration of Eligibility form for a ballot and be directed to a voting booth to mark the ballot.
The final step will be for you to insert your voted ballot into the ballot scanner to be counted.
What does the Voter's Declaration of Eligibility form illustrate at the polls on Election Day?
You will need to sign the form, swearing or affirming that:
You are registered to vote in Cerro Gordo County
You live in the precinct where you are voting
You live at the address illustrated on the Voter's Declaration of Eligibility form
You have not and will not vote in any other precinct at this election
What is the first step when I vote at the polls on Election Day?
Cerro Gordo County uses a computerized election register to validate each voter. Once a precinct official determines the voter is eligible to cast a ballot, the system will print a Voter's Declaration of Eligibility form.
This is my first time voting. What do I need to do?
Iowa law requires that each person wanting to vote must register to vote.
What else should I know about registering to vote at the polls on Election Day?
To avoid extra time at the polls on Election Day, you may want to complete and sign the Iowa Voter Registration Form and return it to the County Auditor's office a week before the election.
What if I want to register to vote on Election Day, but I am a student at a private college. What kind of documentation do I need?
You may use a housing contract to meet the definition of "residential lease". The contract must:
Be effective for the current semester or term
List the student's name
Provide the building name where the student lives and a room number, if applicable
What if I want to register to vote on Election Day, but I'm a college student and live on campus. What kind of documentation do I need?
For a student at an Iowa community college or public university, "other government documents" that can be used to prove residency in the precinct include:
A printed page from an online student directory
A printed page from an online college or university billing
A copy of the residence hall contract
The above forms must be current and must list the student's name and local address.
What if I want to register to vote on Election Day and I don't have either documentation or anyone to attest for me?
A voter in this situation may cast a provisional ballot. Before the provisional ballot can be counted, the voter must appear in person at the County Auditor's office and present proof of identity and residence in the precinct by 12:00 noon on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 for Mason City residents and by 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 13, 2017 for all other cities in the county.
What if I want to register to vote on Election Day, but I don't have the correct documentation?
Iowa law allows another voter to attest to the voter's identity and residence. An attester must be a registered voter who lives in the same precinct as the voter.
What if I want to register to vote on Election Day and I don't have an Iowa driver's license?
If you don't have an Iowa driver's license or non-operator ID, you may use one of these forms of ID:
Out-of-state driver's license or non-driver ID card
U.S. passport of U.S. military ID card
An ID card issued by an employer
An ID card issued by an Iowa high school or college
The above IDs must display the voter's photo and an expiration date that is unexpired.
What if I want to register to vote on Election Day, but my driver's license has my old address on it?
A voter in this situation may prove residency in the precinct with one of the following items that illustrates your current address:
Property tax statement
Utility bill, including a cell phone bill
Paycheck or government check
Or other government document
What kind of documentation will I need to register at the polls on Election Day?
For many voters, a current and valid Iowa driver's license or non-operator ID showing the voter's current address will be enough to prove both identity and residency in the precinct.
Can I register to vote on Election Day?
Yes. A voter who registers at the polls on Election Day must 1) provide proof of identity and 2) provide proof of residence in the precinct.
How can I find out if I am registered to vote?
To find out if you are registered or if you need to update your registration, call the County Auditor's office at (641) 421-3027.
I have recently moved. Do I need to change my voter registration?
Yes. If you moved to a different county in Iowa, you will need to register in your new county. If you moved within the same county, you may update your registration with the County Auditor prior to the election or at your new polling place on Election Day. Updating your address on Election Day will take more time. Also, you will need to provide proof of identity and residence, if you have moved to a different precinct.
Why should I preregister, if I can register on Election Day?
A voter who needs to register at the polls on Election Day should be aware the voting process will take more time. Also, Election Day voter registration standards are different from those prior to the preregistration deadline.
What does "preregister" mean?
The name of the voter who is preregistered will appear in the precinct election register.
What should I do if I make a mistake on my ballot?
Voters at polls on Election Day may request a new ballot from the precinct officials. Absentee voters may request a new ballot from the County Auditor's office.
How should I mark the ballot?
Fill in the voting target next to your choice, using a black pen.
Is it true that absentee ballots are only counted if it's a close race?
No. Iowa law requires absentee ballots be counted in every election.
Who determines whether a voter's provisional ballot is valid?
Provisional ballots will be reviewed and determined by the Absentee and Special Voters Precinct Board (ASVP Board) within a week of Election Day. The ASVP Board is composed of precinct officials appointed by the Democratic and Republic Parties, and by the County Auditor.
What is a provisional ballot?
When a voter's eligibility is in question on Election Day, the voter is allowed to cast a provisional ballot. Valid provisional ballots will be counted and included in the official election canvass, which allows time and opportunity for the voter and County Auditor to collect and present information relative to the voter's eligibility.
Why are the official results different from the results posted on election night?
Election night results are unofficial. They do not include valid provisional ballots and valid absentee ballots received after Election Day. Official election results will be certified at the election canvass.
When are election results released?
Election results from absentee ballots will be released shortly after the polls close on Election Day. Results from polling places/vote centers will be accumulated as precincts report on Election night.
Who is on the ASVP Board?
The ASVP Board is composed of precinct officials appointed by the Democratic and Republican Parties and by the County Auditor.
When are absentee ballots counted?
Absentee voters' affidavit envelopes will be reviewed by the Absentee and Special Voters Precinct Board (ASVP Board) on election day.
How do I know my ballot will be counted correctly?
Iowa law requires a test of the ballot scanners prior to the election. A group of test ballots for the upcoming election is marked and used to confirm that the ballot scanners are correctly programmed in synchronization with the printed ballots, and that they correctly read the test ballots.
Is the voting system trustworthy?
Yes. The ballot scanners meet guidelines adopted by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and have been certified for use by the Iowa Board of Examiners.
What kind of voting system will I see?
Voters in each precinct will cast votes on paper ballots that will be counted by ballot scanners. Absentee ballots will also be counted by ballot scanners.
If someone helps me mark the ballot, can they tell others how I voted?
No. Iowa law prohibits a person from revealing how another person voted.
Can a precinct official help me?
Yes. If a voter requests assistance from a precinct official to read or mark the ballot, two precinct officials will assist the voter together.
What if I can't easily get out of my car?
A voter who is physically unable to enter the polling place has the right to vote in the voter's vehicle. Two precinct officials will bring the voter's ballot, eligibility form, and secrecy folder to the voter.
Are the polling places accessible?
Yes. All 26 polling places in Cerro Gordo County meet federal and state requirements for accessibility.
Can I get assistance in marking my ballot?
Yes. Each polling place has a ballot-marking machine that meets federal accessibility standards and allows a person to vote privately. Alternatively, a voter may choose any other person to assist the voter, except the voter's employer, employer's agent, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.
Where are you located?
Cerro Gordo County Auditor’s Office
220 North Washington Avenue
Mason City, IA 50401
What is your fax number?
Our fax number is 641-421-3139.
When is your office open?
The Auditor’s Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., except holidays. Exceptions to those hours are when state law requires the office hours to be extended for the filing of nomination papers, voter registration and absentee voting.
What is the phone number for the Clerk of Court?
The phone number for the Clerk of Court is 641-424-6431.
What is the phone number for the Mason City City Hall?
The phone number for the Mason City City Hall is 641-421-3600.
Where is the County Engineer's Office located?
The address of the County Engineer’s Office is 2716 South Federal Avenue, Mason City. The phone number is 641-424-9037.
Where is the Public Defender's Office located?
Brick and Tile Building
103 East State Street, Suite 210
Mason City, IA 50401
What is the phone number for the landfill?
The phone number for the Landfill of North Iowa is 641-357-5452.
I am starting a business. Are there any permits that I need from the county?
Depending on the type of business, you should inquire with the County Health Department 641-421-9300, the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance 800-367-3388, and the city where the business will be located.
Is there a notary in the courthouse? Is there a charge to have my signature notarized?
There are several notaries among various offices in the courthouse. There is no charge to have your signature notarized.
Where can I purchase a plat book?
The plat book is available in the County Auditor’s Office for $27.00, payable by cash or check. An updated plat book is published in November of every year.
How often does the Board of Supervisors meet?
The Board of Supervisors hold regular sessions at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays. Occasionally, the Board meets in special sessions at various times throughout the week. Click here to get the current regular and special sessions agenda.
How do I change the mailing address for my tax statement?
You may change your mailing address at the County Auditor’s Office. Or you may complete the Request to Change Mailing Address form and mail it or drop it off at the County Auditor's office.
Who can register to vote?
To register to vote you must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of Iowa, at least 17 1/2 years old, have not been convicted of a felony (or have had your rights restored), not currently judged by a court to be ‘incompetent to vote’, and you must have given up your right to vote in any other place. However, you must be 18 years old in order to vote.
How can I register to vote?
There are several ways in which to register to vote. Voter registration forms are available at various locations including this website, or you may pick one up at the Auditor’s Office. You may also register to vote when you obtain a driver’s license. You may request that the Auditor’s Office mail a voter registration form to you. You must provide the information called for on the application and submit it to the Auditor’s Office.
Do I have to change my voter registration if my name or address changes?
Yes. A voter registration form is also used to change your name or address. Complete the form and return it to the County Auditor's office. A new voter registration card will be mailed to you.
Was I selected for jury duty because I am registered to vote?
Jurors are randomly drawn by a computer among a current voter registration list and a current motor vehicle operators list. After a juror has served one month, they are eligible to be a juror again after two years have expired.
How can I find out what work was done in the drainage district that I received an assessment for?
The Auditor’s Office retains records of claims for work done in each supervisor and trustee drainage district. You are welcome to stop by the office and look through the claims and the drainage district file in order to determine what work was done.