Republican State Sen. Jim Carlin, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Chuck Grassley, rose in support of Senate File 413 on Tuesday. The bill will help strengthen Iowa’s election integrity.
After hearing Democrat colleagues speak at length about the bill being a voter suppression bill, Carlin said his peace.
“Fraud is the worst kind of voter suppression,” Carlin said. “Seventy-seven percent of Republicans believe that there was fraud in this last election. Millions and millions and millions of people believe there was fraud. Most of us in my caucus, in the Republican caucus, believe the election was stolen.”
Carlin listed changes in election law that took place in certain states across the country weeks before the election. Changes that they were not authorized to make by the constitution of their state.
“That’s what happened in Pennsylvania where the deadlines for eligibility of ballots were changed,” he said. “Postmark requirements were taken off the table and signature verification was no longer required. The whole purpose of those actions was to facilitate fraud. Fraud is voter suppression.”
He talked about candidates harvesting ballots and paying money for people to give them a ballot to drop off and turn in.
“That, to me, is fraud,” he said. “When you have drop boxes that have no security and can easily be tampered with, that facilitates fraud. When you prepopulate ballots, which is what happened in Woodbury County, with confidential information so that anybody can submit that request and in turn cast that vote facilitates fraud.”
As for there being “no evidence” of fraud, Carlin asked who believes Joe Biden received 12 million more votes than Barack Obama on his best day.
“I don’t,” Carlin said. “I don’t believe he did better than Barack Obama. Who believes that Obama, who won 873 counties, came up 12 million votes shy of Joe Biden’s 477 counties? Donald Trump won 2,497 counties.
“Here’s an interesting one. We usually look to bellwethers to tell us what the outcome is likely to be. President Obama, your guy, won 18 out of 19 of them when he won. President Trump won 18 out of 19. Joe Biden won one of 19. It’s a good thing he wasn’t shooting free throws.
“President Obama won Florida, Ohio and Iowa. President Trump won Florida, Ohio and Iowa. Joe Biden lost them all. President Obama won seats in the House of Representatives. President Trump won seats in the House of Representatives. President Joe Biden didn’t win any. He lost seats.
“We had evidence from thousands of affidavits that showed Republican observers were expelled and made to stand 20, 30, 40 feet from where ballots were being counted. There was a Florida precinct with more than 100 percent voter turnout. In Georgia, the rejected absentee ballots were 3.5 percent in 2018. In 2020, well, we whittled that down to .03 percent despite 500 percent more votes. There are instances of dead people voting. Sixty-six percent of dead registered voters born between 1800-1899 – you can look this up by the way – voted. If you don’t have signature verifications, if you don’t have any means to authenticate the identity of the voter, what you have is fraud and you will have fraud.”
Carlin said he is pleased this bill will bring security to drop boxes. And that it will allow for prosecution of those who perform election misconduct. He added there should never be prepopulated ballot request forms, like what happened in Linn and Woodbury counties.
“We’re going to now have meaningful oversight on voter list maintenance to make sure that it’s up to date,” Carlin said. “We’re going to ban ballot harvesting. Don’t you think that’s a good idea? People shouldn’t be allowed to bribe people to get their vote and then turn it in. This is going to do a lot of good things and make the outcome of our elections have even more integrity than they did before.
“And, if we want to get rid of voter suppression, we should do it first and foremost by authenticating the identity of our voters.”