Dubuque County election turnout tops 23%

Nearly one in four voters registered in Dubuque County cast ballots in the Nov. 2 election.

According to County Deputy Commissioner of Elections Jenny Hillary, 16,377 voters cast ballots by 8 p.m. Tuesday, equating to 23.2% of those registered.

“I thought it was more than a normal turnout,” she said Nov. 3. “Look at the rural areas — Just the precinct of Bernard had a lot of people for them.”

She added, “I don’t know if it was school board fueling it or what.”

There were seven candidates vying for three four-year terms on the Dubuque Community School Board, as well as one running for a two-year term, but that was far from the only high-profile race.

Voters in many communities, including Cascade, Dyersville and Dubuque, elected new mayors after the incumbents did not run for reelection. Contested City Council and school board races abounded as well.

And all of Dubuque County could weigh in on a $40 million bond referendum for conservation initiatives and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Nov. 2 marked the second time in which Iowa’s municipal and school board elections were held at the same time, following a change from the Legislature.

In 2019 — the first time both municipal and school races were on the same ballots — Dubuque County had 9,841 voters, or 15.4% of those registered.