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There was an issue reported by a voter in Hull earlier today. According to a report, a ballot worker handled a ballot after someone had filled it out and the voter felt they looked at who they voted for before it was inserted into the machine.

The Iowa Standard was made aware of the concerns of this individual voter and went to observe the process in Hull. There was a poll worker standing right beside the machine and instructing voters on how to insert their ballots. The poll worker was also looking at ballots as they were being inserted into the machine.

We contacted the Sioux County Auditor’s Office to ask if this was proper and were originally told that poll workers are trained to be there to assist if there are issues and to ensure the ballots are filled out properly. If the ballot is rejected, then they are to help the voter understand why it is being rejected. They are also able to help with those who need assistance voting.

We relayed what we were told based on the report of a voter who felt uncomfortable having their ballot looked at prior to it being inserted to the machine by the poll worker. Hull, a town of about 2,500 people, is also the city where Congressperson Randy Feenstra resides. It was relayed to The Iowa Standard that an individual felt uncomfortable with the ballot being inspected when Feenstra wasn’t their selection.

We contacted the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office later in the day and were told it is “not accurate” that a poll worker should handle or inspect a ballot prior to it being inserted into the machine.

The Secretary of State’s Office advises locations to have a poll worker assigned to be “nearby” the machine in case issues with the tabulator accepting ballots arise.

“(Poll workers) certainly shouldn’t be close enough that they are inspecting ballots,” said the SOS Office.

In 2020, Feenstra received 90.83 percent of the vote in the Hull precinct against Congressman Steve King.


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