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Secretary of State Paul Pate unveils proposed Election Integrity legislation
Paul D. Pate
Secretary of State
State Capitol
Des Moines, IA 50319
Iowa Secretary of State Seal WEBSITE:
Kevin Hall
Communications Director
(515) 725-2942
January 5, 2017

Secretary of State Paul Pate unveils proposed Election Integrity legislation

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced his proposed legislation to ensure the integrity of Iowa's elections during a news conference at the State Capitol on Thursday. The proposal includes instituting electronic poll books at every Iowa precinct, requiring voter verification at the polling place, including signature verification, and requiring an ID number for voting by absentee ballot. Secretary Pate's bill also establishes post-election audits to ensure public confidence with the electoral process.

"As I have stated many times, protecting the integrity of our elections is my top priority and this legislation will help us do that," Secretary Pate said. "I want to make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat. If you don't have an ID, we will send you a new voter registration card to use at the polls. This bill streamlines the system to make checking in easier and quicker. It will reduce waiting times at the polls, ensure every eligible Iowan is able to cast a ballot, and ensures their ballot will count."

Utilizing electronic poll books, voters will scan their state-issued ID or voter registration card upon checking in at their polling place.

Other items in the proposed legislation include:

  • Creating a deadline for proxies to return collected voter registration forms and absentee ballots to the county auditor's office.
  • Setting the first date to request absentee ballots at 120 days prior to an election.
  • Ensuring uniform, ongoing training for election staff and poll workers.
  • Requiring that county auditors certify their compliance to all state and federal laws and report all suspected instances of election misconduct with the Secretary of State.

The general purpose of this proposal is to continue to ensure the fairness of the election system in Iowa, while increasing measures to enhance integrity.

"I am very proud of Iowa's record of voter participation and I will continue to work to encourage and increase voter turnout," Secretary Pate said. "We are one of the top states in the nation for voter registration and voter participation. This legislation will not have any negative impact on either of those. Instead, it will help instill confidence in our voting system and let every Iowan know that their vote counts."