2020 General Election

The filing deadline of select non-partisan offices for the upcoming November 3 General Election has been changed due to recent legislation.
The deadline to file for the offices of County Hospital Trustee and Township Trustee will now occur on Wednesday, August 26 at 5:00 p.m. The deadline change does not alter the original filing deadline for County Ag Extension and Soil and Water Commissioner, which remains Wednesday, August 26 at 5:00 p.m.
For the non-partisan offices up for election on November 3, candidates must file an affidavit of candidacy and nomination petitions, or convention certificate, Township officials only file an affidavit of candidacy.
County Hospital Trustee
• Acquire 50 signatures from active registered voters in Palo Alto County
Soil and Water Commissioner
• Acquire 25 signatures from active registered voters in the conservation district
County Ag Extension
• Acquire 25 signatures from active registered voters in the district
For any questions regarding the August 26 filing deadline or candidate qualifications, please contact the Palo Alto County Auditor’s Office at 712-852-2924. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.


We have an outdoor Drop Box at the Courthouse. You can drive up and drop off payment for car tags, taxes or any other courthouse business you need to do. We will check the box several times a day. It is under video surveillance 24/7 and locked up. Please call us with any questions!


Palo Alto County Phone Directory

More information and cancellations

Welcome to the Palo Alto County website!

Palo Alto County is located in the northwest region of the state of Iowa. The county has a total area of 569 square miles that contain a variety of lakes including Five Island Lake, Lost Island Lake, Rush Lake, and Silver Lake. Communities include Ayrshire, Curlew, Cylinder, Emmetsburg, Graettinger, Mallard, Rodman, Ruthven and West Bend.

The population of Palo Alto County is 9,421 (according to the 2010 census). County business is done at the county seat in Emmetsburg. Most offices are located at the historic 1880s courthouse located downtown near the business district.