Board of Supervisors to Flout Democracy with Secret Auditor Appointment


Scott County Board of Supervisors to Flout Democracy with Secret Auditor Appointment 

Tuesday, May 25th at 8:00 AM

DAVENPORT, IOWA (Monday, May 24, 2021) –  Scott County Board of Supervisors plan to flout democratic norms with the appointment of a secret nominee tomorrow to fill the vacancy of Scott County Auditor. Neither the public nor the other members of the Scott County Board have been involved in this ostensibly democratic process.  

According to media reports in the North Scott Press and the Quad City Times, Republican members of the board had already selected and interviewed a candidate even before a formal announcement was made by former county Auditor Roxanna Moritz on her resignation.  

Crucially, Republican Supervisor John Maxwell suggested in a May 21st Quad City Times article that he believed that the other Republican members of the board were trying to circumvent Open Meeting Laws during the process.  Maxwell also indicated to the North Scott Press he knew who the candidate was but three days later in the Quad City Times article contradicted his earlier statement by saying he did not know who the appointment was.  

“Any way you look at this situation, it is bad for the voters and bad for democracy.  It’s electoral chicanery masquerading as good government. The head commissioner of our elections must be someone the voters can have absolute trust and faith in to conduct and preserve our most important right in a democracy; our right to vote,” stated Scott County Democratic Chair Elesha Gayman.  “We deserve the right to vote on who will be the individual overseeing our elections, especially since one could argue that recent Republican electoral “reforms” were written to retroactively punish fair-minded election officials and/or force them out of office.”

The agenda for Tuesday’s 8am meeting of the board suggests the only item of business will be the appointment of the auditor.  While public comments by Iowa law must be heard at the end of the meeting, there is nothing on the agenda to suggest that the public will be given any time before the nomination vote to air any concerns or opposition.

The Scott County Democrats have announced that they will immediately begin a petition drive to defend democracy with the aim of forcing a special election for the position of Scott County Auditor.  The Republican voter suppression laws recently hustled through the Iowa Legislature by Scott County Republican Senator Roby Smith will make this process even more cumbersome to voters.  Petitioners will need to collect nearly 10,000 signatures and will only have a time frame of 14 days to complete their petitions.  

“Republicans have been peddling lies and fears about elections since before Trump lost the presidential election.  With the toxic environment they have created we can not trust their nominee selected behind closed doors.  If we expect to have transparent, fair and secure elections we need to begin with a process to select our commissioner of elections in a transparent and fair way.”  

Gayman continues, “The Scott County Democrats call on the Republicans on the Scott County Board of Supervisors to turn back from the appearance of corruption and cronyism with this secret appointment and instead allow the voters of Scott County to decide who they trust to lead our elections.”