From Benton County Auditor Hayley Rippel:
I am excited and proud to announce I am seeking re-election for The Benton County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections. I began my career in the Auditor’s office in 1998. I served as a deputy for 18 years before being elected as The Benton County Auditor in 2016. I also currently serve as the Secretary for District 6 of the Iowa State Association of County Auditors. My 22 years of experience and leadership speak for itself.
For those who don’t realize the magnitude of our duties and responsibilities the Auditor’s office has, let me try to give you a short summary. The Commissioner of Elections is one of the many titles. My office processes voter registration, prepares and supervises the ballot printing, programming of the voting machines, ordering all election supplies, training precinct election officials, set-up and tear-down at the precincts throughout the county. Prepare and monitoring the absentee voting, certifying election results and issuing of the certificates. My office is also known as the budget central for all the county’s government entities. These budgets, which include the tax asking for each entity is reviewed and certified by the County Auditor and then submitted to the State. The state returns the certified tax rates back to us so that we can apply them to the taxable valuation report which is how the taxpayer’s statement is prepared. Along with various duties involved when acting as Clerk to the Board of Supervisors, Custodian of the Courthouse, County Tax Accountant and overseer of the county plats, records and plans. Last but certainly not least we are also the Payroll and Human Resources Manager along with many other titles not mentioned.
My staff and I continue to work hard to maintain the accuracy and safety of our information. We Remain dedicated to the integrity of elections by staying current in the various law changes and ever-changing technology. State certification is a continued process. I most recently was asked to participate in a statewide threat intelligence briefing in Des Moines hosted by The Secretary of State that was partnered with Cisco Security. Our IT Director and my office work closely with these entities along with the Department of Homeland Security to stay motivated in putting protective measures in place from cyber threats. There will always be the threat of disruption, so the more time and effort put into rehearsing will determine how well the outcome is. I am in the process of securing and verifying all of our County Auditor and Elections social media accounts so that we are vetted and approved to post accurate and impartial information regarding to elections. Mental Health is also an ongoing concern everyone has and it definitely doesn’t discriminate as to who or how it can affect every one of us in some way. Myself along with one of my deputies were recently certified in mental health first aid training.
A little bit about my personal life. I was born and raised in Benton County. I graduated from Vinton-Shellsburg High School in 1992. My parents are the late Kenneth Mahr and Kathy and Doug Tumilty of Vinton. My husband Jeff and I have been married for 26 years and have three amazing sons. My in-laws are Jim and Sharon Rippel also of Vinton. Jeff is employed at the City of Vinton Street Department and helps his dad farm in his spare time. Our oldest son Dylan is 24, a 2018 UNI graduate with an Exercise Science degree and is currently enrolled in the Physical Therapy Assistant Program at Kirkwood Community College. Our middle son Tyler is 22, a senior at Mt. Mercy University where he will graduate this spring with a Business Administration Degree. Tyler also played baseball while in college and helped coach some youth teams and volunteered at many events. Our youngest Chase is 16 and a sophomore at Vinton Shellsburg High School. He is active in 4-H, FFA and soccer. All three have been fortunate enough to work part-time at Fareway Stores, Inc. My family means everything to me and I hope they realize how much I love and appreciate each and every one of them. They listen without judgement, speak without prejudice and love me without conditions. Life can be about balance and learning the effort that you put in is what you get back!
I am very proud to hold the Auditor’s position, and would love to continue to serve the people of Benton County in the same professional, respectful and kind way that they are used to. Thank you to everyone who believed in me and my ability to serve in this capacity and represent you all. My family, friends, amazing employees and co-workers, numerous election precinct workers and all of my ISAC peers. Each and every one of you have helped me grow in various ways over these years. Being strong is important; but knowing who you can count on is equally important.
I kindly ask for your support again in the upcoming 2020 elections and am truly grateful for this opportunity. Please feel free to reach out and contact me if you ever have any questions or concerns.