By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald
She’s enjoyed working with numbers.
Mahaska County Auditor Kay Swanson will retire at the end of her term on Dec. 31 after 20 years as Mahaska County auditor. But, Swanson’s work with the auditor’s office goes back much further than that. She began working in the office March 15, 1960.
Much of her work has involved working with numbers.
“I’ve always liked working with numbers,” said Swanson.
When she began working in the Mahaska County Auditor’s Office, Swanson was an auditor’s clerk. By the mid-1970s, Swanson would become deputy county auditor.
Over the years, Swanson worked under five different Mahaska County auditors.
As Mahaska County Auditor, one of Swanson’s primary duties is to conduct elections in the county. Her first presidential race as auditor was Bill Clinton and Al Gore versus Bob Dole and Jack Kemp in 1996.
Each presidential election has been unique, obviously. Swanson noted the differences in equipment used in elections of the past 20 years, as well as the increased number of absentee votes in this most recent General Election.
“Each one has grown,” said Swanson of the elections she’s worked on. “The registered voters numbers have grown.”
On election days, Swanson, along with those who work in her office and the election poll workers all have a long day with polls opening early in the morning.
“It’s most definitely a long day,” Swanson said.
Swanson’s duties and responsibilities go beyond just the work associated with elections. Among her responsibilities are keeping records of all property ownership in the county, being the clerk to the Mahaska County Supervisors and numerous other areas of work listed on the Mahaska County Web site, www.mahaskacounty.org. Many of these duties include working with other county departments.
“They all mesh together, you know,” said Swanson.
Swanson isn’t alone in the auditor’s office. She acknowledged the work put in by her office’s staff.
“I couldn’t do it without my staff,” Swanson said.
Susan L. Brown ran for Mahaska County Auditor unopposed in this past General Election.
Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.