Massachusetts Senator John Kerry recently told a C-SPAN audience that he’s “pretty much feeling” he has unfinished business after his failed 2004 bid for the White House.

But Kerry, a Democrat, said today in Ames that his frequent visits to Iowa and New Hampshire — states which hold the first contests in the 2008 presidential race — don’t mean he’s running for president again. “I have been to some 34 states and knowing the schedule, as you all do, that means about 30 of them have nothing to do with the schedule,” Kerry said. “The bottom line is I want to win the United States Congress and I want to change America now in the next five weeks and the future will take care of the future.”

Kerry campaigned in Ames alongside Michael Mauro, the Democrat who’s running to be Iowa’s Secretary of State, the office that oversees the state’s elections. Kerry contends it’s important to keep a paper record of votes cast in electronic machines. Kerry said touch-screen machines can be programmed to erase votes, and programmed in such a way that investigators cannot track down who might be responsible committing such vote fraud.

Mauro, the Democrat running to be Iowa’s Secretary of State, promises to force election officials around the state to keep a paper record of all electronically-cast votes. “That’s one of the first things I want to see get in place,” Mauro said. “It’s important that we have it and it can be done on the touch-screen type of equipment.”

The Republican-led Iowa Legislature rebuffed calls for a law that would force local precinct voting machines to make a paper record of voting as a back-up to computer-generated vote tallies.

Mauro’s Republican opponent in November is Mary Ann Hanusa, who most recently served as director of personal correspondence for President Bush.