Election season is in the air, and it’s been a beautiful fall. Since I have been 18 and eligible to vote I have always looked forward to doing that civic duty. I was in Iraq for their second free election and watched them dip their finger into permanent blue ink to ensure they only vote once with a conviction that the terrorist had announced they would cut the head off anyone who had that mark. Yet they were proud and excited to vote in their election despite the danger.
I know we sometimes get tired of the incessant ads on T.V., the radio, newspapers, and other media but this is how a Republic works. You chose someone to represent you and they do so as best they can in most cases. For a Republic to work that inconvenience is part of the price that we pay to live in the greatest and most wonderful country in the history of the planet. But we must also know that we have a fair election system that gets the actual winner of the election seated in the position they were elected for.
I would like to report that Iowa was recently ranked the top three in the nation for election security. I won’t be satisfied until we are number one but with that said, top three is a big deal. I would venture to say we may even be a top 3 in the world as far as election security because no other country has as secure election than we do. With that said, other states in our country don’t fair as well as us but this essay is about Iowa and so I will leave that there.
I would like to explain why Iowa is doing so great at our elections to put many of you at ease that when you vote in this election, which I hope you do, that you can do so with the confidence that your vote counted and was tabulated correctly.
First, Iowa computers and voter tabulators are not connected to the internet and there is no chance of outside influence on our computers and tabulators. In fact, testing is done before the election, which the public is invited to witness, and after the election, which again public is invited to witness. Audits are randomly done as well to make sure the tabulators are 100 percent correct. Finally, there is no evidence in Iowa of any outside unauthorized intrusions into Iowa’s election system.
Second, I have been told that hand counted results are more accurate and that should be the only way that election counting should be done. Having been in Iraq, and witness to that election, I can tell you from a personal perspective that hand counting ballots is not 100 percent accurate. With that said, counting 1.7 million ballots just for the state of Iowa would take several weeks and would entail errors and potential fraud. In recent elections there were hand recounts and tabulator recounts, and it was found the tabulators are much more accurate than the hand counters.
Thirdly, I have heard that absentee voting is prone to fraud. Again, Iowa is a safe state, where we require an identification to get an absentee ballot or a pin number that is unique to the person and we do not allow for ballot harvesting. What that means is we require voter identification for every ballot in Iowa, even absentee ballots and a person cannot collect multiple ballots and drop them off somewhere. In Iowa there is only one drop box allowed per county and that must be monitored.
Finally, a record high 1.7 million voters voted in 2020 and I have been told that more people voted in Iowa than were registered to vote. We have 2.2 million voters registered in Iowa. Iowa does purge the voter rolls on a constant basis and so we do not have a “dirty” voter list as some have said. Many voters who were no longer eligible to vote in Iowa were purged after the 2020 election if they had not had activity. If you would like to check your voter registration status you can visit www.sos.iowa.gov/amiregistered.
There are many other rumors or myths about our elections, and I think they weaken the institution of voting. As loopholes or weaknesses to our elections are identified the Iowa Legislature will close the problem. I encourage you to vote and participate in this fall’s great election. I still remember my first time to vote, when I filled in the oval for Ronald Reagan, I believe the best President in modern times. My hope is that you will do the same and be proud that Iowa has such a good election system.