Secretary of State Paul Pate — the commisioner of Iowa elections — said Tuesday there is no way for hackers to alter votes in Iowa because every one of the state’s voters cast a paper ballot. “In Iowa, we don’t vote on the internet…so you can’t be voting from Moscow, Russia. You can’t. The only ones that I would let vote from Moscow are the folks from Moscow, Iowa,” Pate said. “That’s it.” Pate spoke yesterday on The Des Moines Register’s Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair. Pate warned the crowd “bad actors” on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook may try to sow doubt about election results.
Articles about voting issues in Iowa.
Attorneys for Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate were at the Iowa Supreme Court today, arguing for reinstatement of parts of Iowa’s new Voter ID law. Requiring an ID at the polls doesn’t take effect until next year, but new rules for absentee ballots went into effect this year. Last month, a district court judge issued a temporary injunction halting those parts of the law. The Secretary of State wants the injunction lifted so the new absentee ballot rules can be in effect for the November election.
An Iowa judge Wednesday issued a temporary injunction barring the state from implementing some provisions of Iowa’s new voter ID law. The ruling, for now, restores the absentee early voting period from 29 days to 40 days and blocks certain ID requirements of the law, passed by the GOP-led Legislature and signed into law by former Gov. Terry Branstad in May 2017. Polk County District Judge Karen Romano ruled that elements of the state’s new system requiring state-issued voter identification numbers on absentee ballots could harm the rights of voters to participate in elections, “in contravention” of Iowa’s Constitution.
Iowa: Judge tells state to undo some early voting restrictions for 2018 election | Des Monies Register
An Iowa judge this week blocked some provisions of a 2017 voter identification law and required the state to restore its early voting period to 40 days, from 29, for November’s midterm elections. Polk County District Court Judge Karen Romano granted the temporary injunction in an order made public Wednesday. She found that the law, and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s efforts to promote it, “substantially and directly interfere with Iowans’ constitutional rights to vote.” She also found the state had “suggested no real threat to the integrity of Iowa’s voting system” if the law’s requirements were blocked.
Petitioners challenging Iowa’s voter ID law were in Polk County District court Friday, urging a district judge to temporarily halt enforcement of parts of the law. Ames resident Taylor Blair and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa are suing Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate over the law. The requirements in the law to show identification at the polls don’t go into effect until next year. But on Friday, lawyers for the plaintiffs argued for a temporary injunction to stop the parts of the law that are already in effect dealing with absentee ballots.
Sara Hornick and her husband, Chris, took their children to Southwest Middle School at 8 a.m. Tuesday to showcase the democratic process at work. In the parking lot, a man was shouting. “Turn around. Don’t waste your time. We can’t vote, anyway!” Determined, she continued onward. At the desk where she’d normally verify her registration, a worker told her the electronic device — an e-poll book — wasn’t working. “Any idea when it will be?” she asked. “We have no idea,” the poll worker said, who then suggested she contact the Pennington County auditor. It was a scene taking place at polling places across Rapid City. More than half the voting sites, 16 in all, extended the closing time on Tuesday’s election day to accommodate a late start to ballot-casting thanks to a computer problem: The county-issued Dell Computers that navigated the new e-poll book service were not connecting to the secure hot spots provided by a separate router for each device.
Iowa’s top election official said a campaign appeared to be responsible for texting voters incorrect information about polling places. But Secretary of State Paul Pate wouldn’t identify the campaign, telling reporters Tuesday afternoon there seemed to be “nothing malicious” about the text messages. Voters reported the texts to auditors in Black Hawk, Johnson, Linn, Polk and Winneshiek counties, Pate said. He was unsure how many voters received them. The text messages were sent from a toll-free number, which could not be independently tracked to its source. “I think it’s under control,” Pate said, adding that he wouldn’t comment further until the details were verified.
A Latino civil rights organization and an Iowa State University student filed a lawsuit calling the state’s new voter ID law unconstitutional and particularly burdensome for minority, disabled and elderly voters. The legislation at issue, House File 516, was passed on a party-line vote by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed into law by former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad last year. It made a number of significant changes to the Hawkeye State’s voting laws, including a requirement that voters show a photo ID or an approved substitute ID at the polls, as well as new restrictions on absentee ballots and the elimination of straight-party voting. According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Polk County District Court, HF 516 “severely burdens and abridges Iowans’ fundamental right to vote.”
A civil rights organization and an Iowa State University student is suing Iowa’s secretary of state over a voter ID law they say infringes on Iowans’ ability to fairly cast a ballot. The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa and ISU student Taylor Blair announced Wednesday morning that they are filing a lawsuit in Polk County District Court. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, who administers Iowa elections, is named as the defendant in a draft of the lawsuit, which did not appear online in the state’s filing system as of Wednesday afternoon. Under the law, Iowans are required to present a valid form of identification when casting a ballot. Those forms include a driver’s license, non-operator’s license, passport, military ID, veteran’s ID or state-issued voter card.
Iowa’s top elections official will form a new working group with the goal of bolstering the cybersecurity around Iowa voting. “With the past presidential election, with the dialogue that came out of that, we’ve had to be much more aggressive (on cybersecurity), but also to share more with you of what we’re doing so the voters have the full confidence in our elections system,” Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said during a Friday news conference during a training session for county auditors at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids. Concern about the security of the nation’s elections has hit a peak since 2016 due to investigations into Russian attempts to affect the 2016 presidential election.