Pate asks Iowa legislature to make recounts uniform statewide

Statewide Iowa – Iowa’s top election official is proposing uniform rules for election recounts and is asking legislators to beef up his training budget for election workers. Secretary of State Paul Pate says Iowa is one of the top states in election integrity and random audits in all 99 counties of the 2023 city-state elections found results were 100 percent accurate.

Thirty of Iowa’s 99 county auditors will be overseeing their first election in 2024 and Pate wants uniform training for them AND for the Iowans who will be working in their local precincts this year.

Pate says he needs to hire more staff to accomplish that. Pate’s bill for uniformity in recounts would allow larger counties to have more than just three people on the county’s recount board. Pate says the 2020 recount of an Iowa congressional race — ultimately decided by six votes — illustrated the flaws in current law.

The bill Pate proposes also calls for all ballots to be accounted for in a recount. There were four recounts in a 2022 race for a seat in the Iowa House and the Scott County Auditor reported different absentee vote tallies as ballots were counted by hand and by machine.

Pate’s plan calls on recount boards to choose one form of counting — either by machine or by hand — BEFORE the counting begins.


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