DES MOINES, Iowa — Polls are open for Des Moines’ runoff election for mayor and two city council seats. The city is one of the few in the state that requires candidates to win an election by 50 percent plus one of the votes or more.
For over a decade now the city of Des Moines has opted to have runoff elections. This year, three of the four races in the November election failed to have a candidate get the certain percentage of votes. That’s why residents are voting again for them.
In the runoff election the top two candidates from the November polls go head-to-head.
Here are the races residents are voting for:
Des Moines Mayor:
- Frank Cownie
- Jack Hatch
At-Large City Council Seat:
- Carl Voss
- Jacquie Easley
Ward 2 City Council Seat:
- Linda Westergaard
- Skip Moore
Polk County received over 2,200 absentee ballots from Des Moines residents. They said 900 of those were from people who did not vote back in November.
“Just because you didn’t vote in November doesn’t mean that you can’t vote in December,” Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald said. “Just because you missed that last election you can still come out and vote in this election.”
The runoff election does come at a cost. Polk County said it’s the city council’s decision to hold a runoff or not. This year it will cost the city $85,000.
“You have to pay the poll workers. There’s going to be a lot of workers at the polling site because we want to make sure you are not standing in line. When there’s one poll worker, three poll workers, we want to make sure you are in and out and that’s what costs a lot of the resources is the staffing,” Fitzgerald said.
Just like in November, voters need to go to their polling location. That can be found online at PolkCountyIowa.gov. Polling places will remain open until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
In November Fitzgerald said there was about a 20 percent voter turnout and they expect to see that again in this runoff election.