Statement regarding ballot counting error in Buena Vista County
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
November 13, 2020

MEDIA RELEASE: Statement regarding ballot counting error in Buena Vista County

DES MOINES – On Thursday, the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office was notified by Buena Vista County Auditor Sue Lloyd that her office failed to account for 95 absentee ballots in its unofficial election results. Steps are being taken to correct the error and ensure every eligible ballot is included in the official totals.

“I’ve made a pledge to Iowans that every eligible vote will count and we’re working with all 99 counties to ensure that happens,” Secretary of State Paul Pate said. “Instances of human errors have taken place this year in a few counties but have been caught and corrected before results become official. Moving forward, my office will enhance its training efforts for auditors, their staff and poll workers to ensure errors like this do not happen again. The integrity of the vote and Iowans’ confidence in elections must be maintained and protected.”

Auditor Lloyd released the following statement explaining the oversight:

“As Commissioner of Elections, I take pride in Iowa’s election laws and procedures to ensure open and transparent elections and ensuring the accuracy of the votes. Checks and balances are put in place for a good reason, as we discovered an issue with the number of voted ballots that the Absentee Board counted on Election Day. While doing a reconciliation report of all the absentee ballots, it was discovered that there were some ballots that had not been counted. A box of envelopes, thought to be empty, was placed with the other boxes of empty envelopes, and therefore were not counted by the Absentee Board. An administrative recount is being requested to the Board of Supervisors at a special meeting on Monday, November 16, and if approved, the recount will happen that same day.”