Local Democrats are calling for a special election to choose Scott County's next auditor in the wake of the county supervisors' vote to appoint a former Davenport city alderwoman to the position.
The Scott County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted along party lines with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed to appoint former Davenport Alderwoman Kerri Tompkins to fill the vacancy left by former Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz.
Moritz, a Democrat, retired April 23. Scott County Treasurer Mike Fennelly will oversee the auditor's office until Tompkins assumes her new role, which is yet to be determined.
Tompkins would serve until voters elect an auditor to a full term during the next general election in November 2022, unless Scott County Democrats succeed in their petition drive to force a special election.
Partisan contention has surrounded the process for appointing her to the role and has raised questions as to whether Republican supervisors violated Iowa's open meetings law.
The petitioners will need to collect nearly 9,300 valid signatures from eligible Scott County in 14 days because of recent changes made by state lawmakers to Iowa election laws.
Scott County Democratic Party Chairwoman Elesha Gayman said party members and supporters would host signature signing events, with a goal of collecting more than 10,000 signatures by June 8, anticipating that a percentage of signatures collected will not be valid.
"The Scott County Democratic Party stands ready to fight for the rights of Scott County voters who deserve to have their voices heard," Gayman said in a statement. "There is no office more significant in the maintenance of a strong democracy than that of the county auditor, the individual responsible for all elections in Scott County. We invite all Scott County voters, regardless of party, to join us in demanding accountability and having a voice in this vital component of our electoral process.”
Individuals can sign the petition from 5 to 7 p.m. on the following dates and at the following locations:
- May 26 — Veterans Park in Bettendorf at the Band-shelter Pavilion
- May 27 — Vander Veer Park in Davenport at the fountain
- May 29 — Freight House Farmers Market parking lot in Davenport
To find more events and opportunities to the sign the petition, visit www.scottcountydems.org.