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Statement from Secretary of State Paul Pate on public comments submitted regarding administrative rules
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
October 17, 2017

Statement from Secretary of State Paul Pate on public comments submitted regarding administrative rules

Below is a statement from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate regarding public comments submitted regarding comments submitted by the public regarding administrative rules for the Election Modernization and Integrity Act:

"I appreciate the public's feedback and everyone's comments regarding the rulemaking process for the Election Modernization and Integrity Act. We are actively considering all public comments. It is my goal to make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat. That is what this law accomplishes.

As for specific concerns that have been raised regarding the rules under discussion at today's hearing, non-citizens are forbidden under Iowa and U.S. law from registering to vote and participating in elections. This Election Modernization and Integrity Act allows us to remove non-citizens from the voter rolls after they have sworn to a court of law, under the penalty of perjury, they are not citizens of the United States. The rules we have drafted ensure a very deliberative and careful process before someone would be removed. Why anyone would be opposed to removing non-citizens from the voter rolls is baffling.

Each month, my office attends naturalization ceremonies at the federal courthouse in Des Moines, where dozens of new citizens from all over the world are sworn in. Our message is always to encourage them to register to vote and participate in our elections. We ask them to take a few minutes after the ceremony to visit with the League of Women Voters and get registered to vote in Iowa. I want every eligible citizen to be a voter.

As for submitted comments regarding Election Day registration, the proposed rules make no changes to the way the law was written. ID requirements are not changed. The process has not changed from when it was implemented a decade ago. Nothing in the Election Modernization and Integrity Act affects Election Day registration and that method of registering to vote will still be available to Iowans.

I have worked hard to increase voter registration and participation in Iowa. I partnered with the Department of Transportation to implement online voter registration and 70,000 people used the system to register in 2016. I created the Safe at Home program, so survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes could vote without fear of their address becoming public. I partnered with dozens of colleges and universities for the Iowa College Voter Engagement Drive, which helped thousands of students register to vote. Our "Helping Veterans and Iowans with Disabilities" initiative received national acclaim for its outreach and educational efforts, letting people know the resources available to help them be a voter. I will continue to find ways to make it easy to vote. But it also needs to be hard to cheat." – Paul Pate, Iowa Secretary of State