Iowa Secretary of State Calls Trump Vote Rigging Talk “Not Helpful”

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate pushed back today against growing fears on the right that the 2016 election will be “rigged” for Hillary Clinton, a sentiment inflamed by Donald Trump. As his candidacy has slumped in the polls, Trump has told his supporters on Twitter and at rallies that “large scale voter fraud” will hand the election to Clinton. Trump has not yet provided any clear instances of such fraud, and election officials around the country – Republican and Democrat – are beginning to publicly criticize and refute those assertions.

“I take the integrity of our elections very seriously,” Pate, a Republican, told reporters at his office this afternoon in a prepared statement. “I can assure you and all Iowans that elections are not rigged. I pledge to every Iowan that you will be able to cast your vote and your vote will count in this election. Iowa is one of the best states in the nation for both voter participation and voter integrity.”

Pate explained that poll workers go through an extensive certification process and that representatives from both political parties are involved. He also noted that since Iowa votes with a paper ballot there aren’t any hacking concerns involved in the process that other states may face. Other problems, like when a Democratic group accidentally sent a voter registration mailer to some Florida residents, were more incidents of “sloppy” campaign work than an intention to commit fraud.

“Iowans can be confident in our election system,” he said. “We have the checks and balances, we work on a bipartisan basis.”

In recent days Trump and Mike Pence have encouraged their supporters to spend part of Election Day monitoring voting locations for instances of fraud. Many have worried that this would result in angry supporters illegally interfering with or intimidating voters, specifically those in areas with many minority voters. Pate suggested that those interested in election monitoring work through the proper channels and not attempt to challenge voters on their own.

“It would be a distraction and we don’t need that,” Pate explained. “We’re trying to run smooth elections … If I were running one of those campaigns, I’d tell them to call up their Republican or Democratic party office and volunteer.”

He noted that both parties are offered chances to be poll watchers, and encouraged anyone who feel they saw something improper on Election Day to contact their local county auditor or the Secretary of State’s office.

“I want to make sure perception doesn’t become reality,” Pate said of his attempt to tamp down election integrity concerns now. “I want to make sure Iowans understand that their vote will be counted.”

This morning Governor Terry Branstad gave a slightly more muted defense of Iowa’s election integrity, saying he was confident that officials would run it properly and fairly. But he also held out a caveat that there might still be small cases of fraud that could slip through. Mostly, Branstad repeatedly returned to his assertion – which mirrored Trump campaign talking points – that the media is running a biased effort against Trump that would swing the election.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 10/17/16

2 Comments on "Iowa Secretary of State Calls Trump Vote Rigging Talk “Not Helpful”"

  • Best thing you can do for election integrity: sign up to be a pollworker! Many counties still need workers. ESPECIALLY If you’re in a county that leans to one party and you’re in the smaller party – we have to balance workers by party.

  • As an experienced poll worker I can tell you several things:

    1 – Linn County does a great job of paying attention to election integrity.
    2 – There are foreign nationals registered to vote in Iowa. Its a tedious effort to sort this out but there are people working to find and root them out.
    3 – Most states are not as good as Iowa at election integrity. The instances of illegal aliens, names of the dead on the rolls and other indiscretions is significant. Recently thousands of illegally registered voters have been found in different states. do the research, don’t just push back.
    4 – The media is cheerleading and filtering the news to support Hillary Clinton. That’s an indisputable fact. Check out all the material inside the WikiLeaks material and you will find a world of corruption inside the media and government agencies. Crooked Hillary and crooked media is an apt term if you look at the evidence.

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