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.


Palo Alto County, Primary Election June 5, 2018

Important Dates to Know

New Law:  Voters are required to provide approved identification at polling place before they may receive and cast a ballot. 

Primary Election:  Voters are required to declare party affiliation.

Monday, May 7th:  Absentee voting begins 29 days before the election at the County Auditor’s office, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Friday, May 25th: Deadline to request absentee ballot by mail at 5:00 p.m. & voter pre-registration deadline

Tuesday, May 29th:  Satellite voting (absentee voting that occurs outside county auditor’s office) at Ayrshire Community Center, Mallard Community Center, or Ruthven Social Center from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 2nd:  Auditor’s Office open 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for absentee voting & election day registration

Tuesday, June 5thPrimary Election Day.  Vote at your assigned polling place in Graettinger Public Library, West Bend Public Library or Emmetsburg Election Center from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Sample ballots: