State Election Administrators Training (SEAT)

State Election Administrators Training (SEAT)

To register for classes, visit

About SEAT

The State Election Administrators Training program provides professional training for Iowa's county election officials.

SEAT was established as a 28E entity among the Iowa Secretary of State's Office, Iowa State Association of County Auditors and the Iowa State Association of Counties. The first statewide three-day SEAT training session was held in August 2002, and subsequent training sessions have been held each year since.

SEAT participants are certified as Iowa Certified Election Administrators after successful completion of 40 hours of classes. Initially, participants attend classes offered in two sessions over a one year time period. Following certification, election administrators must attend 18 course hours of continuing education in a four year period to retain their certification. Certification renewal may be accomplished by submitting an application for approval to the SEAT Board stating attendance at related election training offered by other organizations.

The specific goals of the SEAT training are:

  • Enhance the trust of Iowans in the state electoral process by certifying the professional competence of Iowa's election administrators.
  • Provide a forum in which Iowa election administrators can share and learn from their counterparts about best practices in the administration of elections.
  • Provide an educational curriculum that will increase the knowledge of elections in Iowa.
  • Provide an educational curriculum that will build the skills of election administrators to effectively engage the voting public and media in the pursuit of conducting well-run elections.

Upcoming Sessions

To register for classes, visit

Core Courses

  • Core 1: April 18-20 - Hilton Garden Inn, West Des Moines

  • Core 2: July 18-20 - Hilton Garden Inn, West Des Moines

Continuing Ed Courses

  • May Continuing Ed - Agenda

    • May 6, 2015 - Coralville Marriott

    • May 13, 2015 - Boulders Dension
  • September 16, 2015 - Coralville Marriott

  • September 23, 2015 - Boulders Denison

SEAT Boards

Board of Directors

Name Office Email
Carla Becker, Chair
Term: 2/1/2013 - 1/31/2015
Delaware County Auditor
Sandy Hysell
Term: 2/1/2014 - 1/31/2016
Union County Auditor
Peggy Rice
Term: 2/1/2013 - 1/31/2015
Humboldt County Auditor
Carol Olson
Term: 2/1/2015 - 1/31/2016
Deputy of Elections, Secretary of State's Office
Paul Pate
Term: 2/1/2014 - 1/31/2016
Secretary of State
Kelly Spurgeon
Term: 2/1/2015 - 1/31/2017
Wapello County Auditor
Dawn Williams
Term: 2/1/2015 - 1/31/2017
Director of Elections, Secretary of State's Office

Board Meeting Minutes

SEAT Curriculum Committee

Name Office Email
JJ Breen Election Systems Administrator, Linn County Auditor's Office
Heidi Burhans Madison County Auditor
Kristi Everett First Deputy of Elections,
Pottawattamie County Auditor's Office
Jessica Lara Hardin County Auditor
Marisa Roseberry, Chair Assistant Director of Elections,
Secretary of State's Office
Eric Van Lancker Clinton County Auditor
Dawn Williams Director of Elections, Secretary of State's Office
Shelley Wolf Bremer County Auditor

Curriculum Committee Meeting Minutes

PEO Certification Program

The Precinct Election Official Certification Program evolved from the success of the SEAT program. County auditors and Secretary of State staff determined it was important to offer a comprehensive statewide training for front-line precinct election officials (PEOs). The initial goal of this voluntary program was to have least one certified PEO in each of Iowa's precincts by November 2008.

Overall objections were:

  • Provide uniform training to PEOs across the state
  • Teach PEOs how to work together at the polls
  • Teach PEOs how to avoid confrontation with voters
  • Teach PEOs how to identify problems and use available resources to solve them
  • Provide training to PEOs on opening and closing the polls
  • Provide training to PEOs on handling special situations at the polls
  • Provide training to PEOs on working with voters with special needs

The program was offered as classroom training. PEOs received a guidebook and were required to take a test before achieving their certification.

Currently, this program is no longer offered. The Secretary of State's Office will continue to provide a PEO guidebook for counties.

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