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Prior to the June primary, state officials highlight election integrity precautions



Johnston, Iowa – June 4 is primary election day. Based on national data, there was a rise in Americans’ belief in election integrity before to the 2022 midterm elections, following a decline in 2020. Will Iowans, however, accept the outcomes this time around?

A 2022 Gallup poll conducted ahead of the midterm elections found that, on the whole, most Americans—63 percent to be exact—trust US elections to be accurate. That represents merely a slight improvement above the 2020 low of 59%.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says his office is taking precautions to ensure the vote is secure even if there isn’t any proof of massive voter fraud in the 2020 election. Pate said, “The public should be reassured, and when they cast their vote in the upcoming election it will be counted fairly and accurately.”

Electronic voting machines were at the focus of certain 2020 election conspiracy theories. That’s not an issue here, according to Pate. Voting is done by paper ballot in Ohio. A paper ballot is impenetrable. Pre- and post-election audits are conducted in Iowa. To make sure it is operating correctly, each ballot tabulator is put through a logic and accuracy test, according to Pate.
According to Pate, every voter tabulator is physically protected in each of the 99 counties, and the tabulators are not connected to the internet.

Along with federal and state partners, the state will also practice what to do in the event of an emergency. This might involve an effort to breach a government agency or the destruction of a polling place due to a natural calamity.

Furthermore, new resources in Pate’s office will improve poll worker training. According to Pate, every one of the state’s 10,000 poll workers receives the same training. “They are the face of the election. They are the people on the ground dealing with every technical component that’s really going on. So what this does is allows us to have that consistency and gives us a new level of consistency if you will professionalism going forward,” Pate said.

According to Pate, it might be challenging to find poll workers because certain counties may lean more Democratic or Republican than others and they need balance. But Pate says he believes there will be enough poll workers for Tuesday’s primary this time around.

Regarding potential recounts, Pate states that he anticipates landslides. Pate says he is sure they have the resources to handle a recount, should one be necessary.

Pate’s office will conduct randomly selected audits in each of the 99 counties following Tuesday’s election. To make sure the results reflect what the tabulators indicate, bipartisan teams manually tally the votes.

“Following the 2020 general election, the 2022 midterm election, and the 2023 city school election, the hand count audits match perfectly. 100% in every county,” Pate said.

According to Cait Conley of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, all local election websites in Iowa are now ending so that users are assured they are not accessing a fake website. According to Conley, the organization has also evaluated county voting offices both physically and virtually, having visited all 99 counties.
However, Conley claims that risks from ransomware and artificial intelligence still exist.

“While our election infrastructure is more secure than ever, today’s threat environment is also more complex than ever. Our foreign adversaries remain a persistent threat to our elections intent on undermining Americans’ confidence in the foundation of our democracy and sowing partisan discord,” Conley said.

The Iowa National Guard and its state partners will keep an eye on the election results and handle any potential threats on election night. This is routinely carried out.