In 9 Iowa legislative races, fewer than 500 votes decide

State board gives its final blessing to midterm results

People wait in line to vote during election day at City Hall in Tiffin on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gaze
People wait in line to vote during election day at City Hall in Tiffin on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — Iowa’s 2018 general election results became official Monday with a 3-0 vote of the Iowa Board of Canvass.

However, by law, the outcome of the governor’s race — unofficially won by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds over Democratic challenger Fred Hubbell — won’t become official until the results are certified by the Iowa House after it gavels into session Jan. 14.

Otherwise, the board certified the four winners in Iowa’s congressional races — Democrats Abby Finkenauer, David Loebsack and Cindy Axne and Republican Steve King — along with five statewide executive-branch officials, 100 Iowa House members, 25 Iowa Senate members and 67 Iowa judges who were up for retention votes.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, who also doubles as the state’s commissioner of election, said Iowans turned out in record numbers Nov. 6 with 1,334,279 ballots cast. The percentage of eligible registered voters who participated was 61.55 percent — the highest level for an Iowa midterm since 1994.

“Iowans turned out in record numbers and we remain one of the top states in the country for voter participation,” Pate said Monday.

Nine legislative races were decided by 500 votes or fewer. The closest was House District 55, decided by nine voters; House District 82 was decided by 37 votes; and House District 16 was decided by 113 votes.

“With the close elections we saw, it reminds voters that your vote counts so we hope they take that to heart and next election even more people will show up and vote,” Pate added.

Here are some statistics from the Iowa 2018 general election:


• Ringgold County led the state in highest turnout percentage with 71.49 percent, followed by Harrison County with 68.57 percent, Dallas with 68.13, Warren with 67.88, Sioux with 67.42, Fayette with 67.11, Polk with 66.77 and Linn with 66.32.

• Every county in Iowa surpassed 50 percent in voter turnout; the lowest was 52.53 percent.

• 547,205 voters cast absentee ballots, a record high for a midterm.

• Jefferson County had the highest percentage of absentee voters with 56.64 percent, followed by Winneshiek County with 55.79 and Dickinson County with 50.03.

Pate, Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig and State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald approved the vote canvass summary prepared by Pate’s office. Members absent were Reynolds and State Auditor Mary Mosiman.

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