Election Security in Iowa

Election Security in Iowa


MYTH VS. FACT #1

MYTH:

Voter tabulators are connected to the internet, making them vulnerable to hacking and manipulation.

FACT:

Iowans vote on paper ballots in all elections and those ballots are preserved to ensure accurate results. Vote tabulators are not connected to the internet or to each other. Every vote tabulator is stored securely when not in use and undergoes a logic accuracy test (basically a pre-election audit) in which the public is invited to attend and watch. Sample ballots are tested on the machine to ensure the tabulators are working correctly and recording votes properly. Post-election audits are conducted in all 99 counties to ensure the hand-count and tabulator totals match. In the 2020 elections, the post-election audits matched the tabulator results perfectly, 100%, in all 99 counties. Additionally, Iowa has conducted numerous recounts in several counties in recent years, again verifying the accuracy of the vote tabulators.

MYTH VS. FACT #2

MYTH:

IP addresses going to county websites or systems are evidence of hacking.

FACT:

IP addresses indicate a person visited a website. Every time you visit a website, the IP address assigned to your computer will show up on the report. There is ZERO evidence of any unauthorized intrusions into Iowa's election systems. A county's website has no connection to any election equipment.

MYTH VS. FACT #3

MYTH:

Hand-counted results are more secure and should be implemented.

FACT:

Hand-counting 1.7 million ballots for the results of one election would take several weeks and would be much more prone to human error and potential fraud than vote tabulators that are certified, tested, and audited before and after the election to ensure accuracy.

MYTH VS. FACT #4

MYTH:

Absentee voting by mail is prone to fraud.

FACT:

Iowa has instituted Voter ID at the polls and on absentee ballot request forms to protect the integrity of the vote. Voters are required to enter their Voter ID number on their request form before submitting it to their county auditor. The Voter ID number and the voter's address must match the voter's information in the voter registration database before a ballot can be mailed.

MYTH VS. FACT #5

MYTH:

More people voted than are registered.

FACT:

A record high 1.7 million Iowans voted in the November 2020 election. That is 77% of Iowa's 2.2 million registered voters.

MYTH VS. FACT #6

MYTH:

Iowa has "dirty" voter rolls.

FACT:

Iowa conducts voter list maintenance on a constant basis and recent law changes and partnerships help us ensure the cleanest voter rolls possible.

MYTH VS. FACT #7

MYTH:

Hundreds of thousands of people were "purged" from the voter rolls after the 2020 general election, without their knowledge.

FACT:

Every March, the Iowa Secretary of State's Office conducts voter list maintenance as required by federal and state law. Registered voters who did not participate in the 2020 general election received a No Activity mailing to confirm their residential address, due to legislation signed into law in February 2021. Receiving that notice did not affect anyone's ability to vote in any election in 2021, 2022, 2023 or 2024. The voting experience for inactive voters is identical to that of active voters. After voting in any election in any of those years, their status returns to active. They could also respond to the mailing, or update their voter registration, or request an absentee ballot for any election through November 2024 to make their registration status active.

To check your voter registration status, visit sos.iowa.gov/amiregistered. To register to vote or update your registration, go to sos.iowa.gov/registertovote. There were 294,148 No Activity notices mailed to Iowans in March 2020. Those that received the mailing were based entirely on data entered in the I-Voters system by county auditors. As required by Iowa law, "Registered voters receiving such notice shall be marked inactive." Voters who register prior to turning 18 years old are considered active registered voters, and therefore were subject to Iowa's voter list maintenance laws at the time. The inclusion of voters under of the age of 18 was addressed in subsequent legislation and they will not be included in future voter list maintenance activity. This affected approximately 400 registered voters in the state. They were still registered voters and able to participate in any election.

MYTH VS. FACT #8

MYTH:

The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) is a tool used by George Soros to rig elections.

FACT:

The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) helps Iowa and other states maintain clean and accurate voter lists. Its operating costs are funded completely by annual dues paid by member states. This partnership with 30 other states helps us identify deceased voters, voters who have moved both in state and out of state, and voters who might have cast a ballot in more than one state during an election. ERIC is an effective tool for ensuring the integrity of Iowa's voter rolls. The Iowa Legislature made membership in ERIC a state law in 2021 because legislators see the value in partnering with other states to help maintain clean voter rolls. ERIC's membership agreement strictly prohibits them from selling, sharing, or disclosing Iowa's data to any person, party, organization, or group. Also, the data is protected under the Federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), and the data is not public record. A board, comprised entirely by representatives from member states, oversees ERIC. ERIC was not founded by George Soros and has never been funded by George Soros.

MYTH VS. FACT #9

MYTH:

Several Iowa counties’ election results were hacked and manipulated during the 2020 election.

FACT:

There is zero evidence of any unauthorized intrusions into Iowa’s election systems. Even if the websites that report the totals on election night were hacked, which they weren’t, these display only unofficial numbers. Election results do not become official until after each county publicly canvasses and certifies the results, and for statewide offices the final tally is sent to the bipartisan State Board of Canvassers for final certification.

MYTH VS. FACT #10

MYTH:

“Experts” have shown evidence of vote manipulation in Iowa through hacking.

FACT:

None of these self-proclaimed experts have provided any actual evidence of any hacking of any election system anywhere in the state of Iowa. We’ve asked for their “evidence”. They’ve refused. These “experts” and commentators have also refused to turn their “evidence” of criminal activity over to law enforcement when asked.

MYTH VS. FACT #11

MYTH:

Hackers have passwords to county election systems in Iowa and can easily access them.

FACT:

Even if a would-be hacker gained a county’s password, by law, passwords are changed frequently, logins require multi-factor authentication, and an access control panel is in place, among other measures. The Access Control List is a cybersecurity component that allows access only to email addresses, IP addresses, domain names or applications that have been pre-approved-while denying all others.

MYTH VS. FACT #12

MYTH:

The 2020 general election ballots in Iowa were not counted accurately.

FACT:

All 99 counties perform a hand count audit after every election. The results of the 2020 primary and general election audits matched perfectly to the results from the machine tabulators. The audits are conducted by a bipartisan team, are open to the public, and representatives from the Republican and Democratic parties are invited to observe. The precincts that are audited are randomly selected by the Secretary of State the morning after the election.

MYTH VS. FACT #13

MYTH:

Vote total percentages in several counties were identical for certain demographics, showing clear evidence of hacking, according to “highly respected statisticians”.

FACT:

Not a single county had an identical turnout percentage across any age or demographic in the 2020 election. The data these “highly respected statisticians” claim to present is simply false. The true voter turnout percentages for each county are publicly available on the Secretary of State’s website at this link.

MYTH VS. FACT #14

MYTH:

You can easily add extra voters to the rolls ahead of elections to inflate numbers.

FACT:

Voters must be verified before casting a ballot. Iowa requires Voter ID at the polls and on absentee ballot request forms. Iowa does allow same-day voter registration, but this process requires not only photo identification, but also proof of their address. That means the person registering to vote at the polls must show an official form, such as a utility bill, that verifies they live at the address they claim, along with a photo ID verifying they are who they claim. When a voter registers on Election Day, they are sent a mailing after the election to verify their address. If the mailing comes back as undeliverable twice, the county attorney’s office is required to conduct an investigation and report the results to the Secretary of State.

MYTH VS. FACT #15

MYTH:

You can “stuff the ballot box” to pad the numbers in favor of a chosen candidate or party.

FACT:

Ballots must be designed to specifically fit each individual precinct’s specific machine and tabulator. Often, Iowa ballots vary from town to town and even precinct to precinct. A log of voters, both electronic and paper, is maintained at every polling place to account for each voter who is checked in and given a ballot. The log is then compared to the machine tabulators to verify the number of ballots cast matches the number of voters who were issued a ballot in each precinct. A bipartisan precinct board, made up of registered voters in the county, is present all day to watch and ensure there is no unauthorized access to the precinct’s election equipment. Coupled with Voter ID and the other checks and balances Iowa has in place, stuffing the ballot box does not occur.

MYTH VS. FACT #16

MYTH:

All election records are destroyed 22 months after an election.

FACT:

A voter’s participation history remains in Iowa’s voter registration database in perpetuity. Even after a voter passes away, their voting history is maintained in the system.

MYTH VS. FACT #17

MYTH:

Cast Vote Records are maintained by all voting tabulators and can be used to detect potential fraud in elections.

FACT:

In Iowa, a Cast Vote Record is not generated in the course of conducting an election. Iowa’s election laws do not require the creation of preservation of a Cast Vote Record, and Iowa Code makes it very clear that voted ballots or the information contained wherein can only be opened and viewed for recounts, election contests, or post-election audits. They are not subject to open records requests. Additionally, Cast Vote Records and ballot images are not maintained by every voting tabulator used in the state of Iowa. Iowans vote on paper ballots, which creates a paper trail for every vote cast.

MYTH VS. FACT #18

MYTH:

Iowans can cast their vote over the phone, rather than filling out an absentee ballot or going to the polls on Election Day.

FACT:

Voting over the phone is not possible.
Voters CAN vote Absentee by mail.
Voters CAN vote Absentee in person.
Voters CAN vote at the polls on Election Day.

For a more in-depth fact sheet on Iowa's election security and integrity, click here.

ELECTION SECURITY INFORMATIONAL VIDEO


Click here to view the Election Security video on Vimeo