State And Federal Officials Tout Security Of Iowa’s June 4th Primary Election

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa’s top election official says Iowans can be assured their votes in next Tuesday’s Primary Election will be counted accurately.

Secretary of State Paul Pate hosted officials from key state and federal agencies Tuesday at the Iowa National Guard’s headquarters to discuss election security.

Iowa uses paper ballots and Pate says that means the ballots can’t be hacked, plus every ballot tabulator is tested to make sure it’s functioning properly before every election.

Many Iowa counties have been hit with storm damage this spring, but Pate says polling sites are set in areas where tornadoes destroyed homes and businesses.

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Pate says every county auditor has developed backup plans to deal with emergencies, like flash flooding and power outages on election days. John Benson, director of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, says state and federal experts will gather at the State Emergency Operations Center to monitor Primary Election Day activity.

About 10 thousand Iowans have signed up to be precinct workers for Tuesday’s Primary. Cait Conley, who leads election security efforts in the US Department of Homeland Security, says the agency is monitoring cybersecurity threats from foreign adversaries as well as physical threats to poll workers.

Over the past three years, the US Department of Homeland Security has conducted cybersecurity assessments for election offices in each of Iowa’s 99 counties and Conley says every county auditor’s office in Iowa is now using a “dot gov” website, which has a higher level of security.

Eugene Kowel — the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Omaha office — says election security is one of the agency’s highest priorities. He joined Iowa’s secretary of state at Tuesday’s news conference at Iowa National Guard headquarters.

Precinct voting sites will open at 7 a.m. June 4th and close at 8 p.m. The Iowa Secretary of State’s website has a list of all the voting sites for the Primary. Mail-in ballots must be received by the local county auditor’s office by the time polls close at 8 p.m. in order to be counted.


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