Primary Election, June 2, 2020


We encourage all Palo Alto County voters to request an absentee ballot and to cast their ballot in the comfort and security of their own homes. We ask that you protect yourself and our Precinct Election Officials by simply completing the Absentee Ballot Request Form and returning it ASAP (A request form must be received in our office by 5:00 p.m. on May 22nd.) so that we may send a ballot to you to be voted and returned to us postage paid. To be counted, the ballot must be postmarked by June 1st or hand delivered to our office by 9:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Absentee Ballot Request Forms are available at https://sos.iowa.gov/

Sample Ballots: Republican Party Ballots

Sample Ballots:  Democratic Party Ballots

Palo Alto County Prepares & Responds to COVID-19

Palo Alto County is advising residents about what they can do now to prepare for the potential spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. To date, no one in Palo Alto County has tested positive for COVID-19.

Courthouse windows are closed but our staff is working and we are available by phone, fax, email and on-line services.  We have drop boxes located at both entrances of the courthouse.  City Clerks call the Auditor’s Office to file budgets.  Election Candidates also need to call our office to file election papers.

Please call the office that you need to do business with and we will make accommodations.

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.