Many Iowans have noticed a large number of yard signs for local candidates in their neighborhoods and an increase in attention to local issues. It has been exciting to see people in our communities develop a passion and interest in their school boards and city government. This last year has demonstrated to us just how important local issues are and why local elections matter.
As Iowans head to the polls for those races in the coming days, they can be confident the elections are secure. For the past several years, my Iowa Senate colleagues and I have made election integrity a priority. We have passed several different pieces of legislation to make Iowa elections more secure and ensure confidence in the election system. This year we passed Senate File 413, securing vulnerabilities in Iowa’s elections and expanding opportunities for absentee voting.
Senate File 413 requires county auditors to notify voters if their application for a ballot was received past the deadline and inform them of their options to vote by Election Day. Without this legislation, voters would never know if their absentee ballot request form would not be processed. It also expands voting access to those who have been admitted to a hospital, nursing home or health care facility, and gives voters who forgot to sign their absentee ballot time to sign their ballot and ensure it counts on Election Day. SF 413 also added additional security checks by requiring mandatory, hand-count post-election audits and annual audits of the voter registration lists.
Since we have put election integrity measures into place, Iowa has seen record voter turnout year after year. Iowa continues to offer several ways to vote and participate in elections, like Election Day registration, in-person absentee voting 20 days before Election Day, curbside voting, 24/7 drop box for completed absentee ballot returns, ADA accessible satellite and precinct election sites, and ADA voting machines at each precinct. All these changes help make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat in Iowa elections.