A loyal reader of The Iowa Standard sent us concerns over the weekend of mail-in voting. It wasn’t statistical evidence or research — it was based on personal experience.
The reader, who is not a U.S. citizen and therefore cannot vote (but is here legally), has lived in their home for more than four years. The previous owners haven’t lived in Iowa for more than four years.
Yet two pieces of Vote Safe Iowa official election mail arrived at the home, addressed to the two registered voters who lived at the house — more than four years ago.
If the current resident wasn’t honest, it sure seems like there would be an increased risk to voter fraud than if people simply showed up at the polling place on Election Day.
Again, these are individuals who have not lived in Iowa for more than four years.
Upon hearing about this incident, and receiving pictures of the mail pieces, The Iowa Standard contacted Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s office.
We asked what safeguards are in place to avoid voter fraud from happening in a situation just like this one.
Pate’s office told us that voters are required to sign under penalty of perjury that they are a U.S. citizen. Voters are also required to provide either an Iowa Driver’s License number or the last four digits of their social security number.
This information is used to validate the individual is who they say they are, however it does not confirm citizenship.
“If a non-citizen registered to vote, they would be subjecting themselves to both state and federal prosecution,” said Kevin Hall, Pate’s communications director.
Hall said that Pate fought in the Legislature and in court to have Voter ID included at the polls and on absentee ballot request forms.
“And he won,” Hall said. “The statewide mailing of absentee ballot request forms was a one-time accommodation during a public health emergency to help reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19.”