School elections usually come early in the school year — on the heels of Labor Day.
That is about to change.
Beginning this year, school elections will be held at the same time as city elections in Iowa because of a law passed by the Iowa Legislature in 2017.
Now, Iowa’s school and city elections are to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of odd-numbered years. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 5, according to the Pottawattamie County elections website at pottcoelections.org.
Supporters said combining school and city elections would save money by reducing the number of elections and improve turnout by give voters more reasons to go to the polls. Critics said voters might not be prepared to decide on both.
In Pottawattamie County, Council Bluffs and Carter Lake hold primaries if enough candidates file to run for mayor or city council. The primaries would be held on Oct. 8, if needed. Avoca has a runoff provision.
School-related components will include the election of school board members and community college trustees. There will be four seats up for grabs on the Council Bluffs Community School District Board of Education, three on the Lewis Central Community School District Board and five on the Iowa Western Community College Board of Trustees.
On the Council Bluffs Board of Education, the terms of President David Coziahr, Vice President Chris LaFerla and members Troy Arthur and Bill Grove will be ending.
Lewis Central Board members with terms expiring include Brian Stoufer, Amie Adkins and Daryl Weilage.
Iowa Western Trustees Gregg Connell, District I; Larry Winum, District II; John Marshall, District III; and Connie Hornbeck, District VIII have terms expiring this year. In addition, Trustee Kathy Rieger plans to move, leaving her seat open, confirmed Don Kohler, vice president of marketing and public relations at Iowa Western.
Candidates for city offices in Council Bluffs and Carter Lake have until the end of the day Aug. 29 to file papers. School board candidates and candidates for office in other cities in the county can file Aug. 26 through Sept. 19.
The deadline for preregistration and mailed absentee ballot requests is Oct. 25. The last day for in-person early voting at the auditor’s office is Nov. 4.
For more information, see pottcoelections.org or call the auditor’s office at 712-328-5700.