Paul D. Pate
Secretary of State
Des Moines, IA 50319
|OFFICE OF THE IOWA SECRETARY OF STATE|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December, 11 2018
Secretary Pate statement on House District 55 election
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate released the following statement today on the House District 55 election:
“There is a lot of misinformation being pushed out in the media by political partisans about the Iowa House District 55 election. Here are the facts:
Thirty-three ballots in Winneshiek County arrived after Election Day, without postmarks and without the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) imprinted by the county auditor and authorized by Iowa law. Therefore, they are not eligible to be counted under Iowa law.
Every absentee ballot envelope in Iowa includes a clear disclaimer that “POSTMARKS ARE NOT GUARANTEED”:
It’s unfortunate that some absentee ballots are not postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service. A 2016 legislative bill allowed the IMb to be accepted as an optional remedy for county auditors. The bill was sponsored by Iowa Senate Democrats, supported by the county auditors and by myself, and it passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. To date, only six counties use the IMb on their absentee envelopes, and Winneshiek is not one.
As Secretary of State, I swear an oath to uphold the Constitution and Laws of the State of Iowa, and I support every eligible vote being counted. Trying to change the rules after an election is not the way elections work in Iowa. In addition, this office and the Winneshiek County Auditor have complied with the district court order in all respects.
I will do everything under the law to ensure every voter is provided the same rights. I am disappointed by the political rhetoric. My job is to be the referee of elections and not side with one candidate or party. Ms. Koether has already requested and received recounts in two counties in House District 55, and she has the right under the law to file an election contest.’ – Paul Pate, Iowa Secretary of State