The state’s top election official has high praise for Iowa’s new voting machines in light of the razor-thin victories last month in several Iowa districts. The November election was the first general election test of Iowa’s new law requiring a paper trail for all ballots cast.
Secretary of State Michael Mauro says with so many recounts this year, county auditors were happy to have a paper record of votes cast.
"We put in new election equipment this year and, I tell you, that proved to be fantastic, especially in the eight districts where we had recounts," Mauro says. "It was nice to be able to go back and look at those ballots in those counties."
According to Mauro, the recounting of votes cast in eight legislative races would have been a lot harder without paper records from every precinct.
"When we put those special precinct committees together and those recount boards met, that would have been a very difficult thing and thank God to the legislature that we did get a paper count and verified paper trail in place," Mauro says. "Lots of people deserve credit for that — but that worked out great."
Mauro appeared before the Iowa Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee to review election day results. Mauro told lawmakers that 73% of Iowa’s eligible voters cast ballots last month, putting Iowa in the top five or six states for voter turnout in the country.
Lawmakers questioned him about possible election changes in the future, including voting by mail and requiring photo ID’s at the polls.