Paul Pate. (file photo)

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says cyber security is a “constant challenge” and it’s “vital” that his office get more state tax dollars in the next budgeting year. Pate says the I-Vote system that handles voter registration data needs attention.

“That’s a system that was built over 15 years ago and obviously elections have changed dramatically since then,” Pate says. “It needs some serious upgrades if we’re going to go forward and we need to look at replacing that system in the coming years.”

Pate is asking the governor and legislators to provide his office with an additional $1.75 million for the budgeting year that begins July 1. He’d spend much of it on upgrades for the voter registration system.

Earlier this year, lawmakers set aside money to replace a different computer system in Pate’s office. It’s the one used by people filing out the online forms to start a new business.

“A new fast track filing system that’s going to provide Iowa’s business community with service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Pate says. “Whether it’s three o’clock on a Friday afternoon or 3 am on Christmas morning, they’ll be able to access it and do business.”

That system should “go live” something this spring. Pate’s office handled the records for more than 20,000 businesses that were launched in Iowa this past year. That’s an all-time high in new business filings. Pate says the number of Iowa businesses being dissolved is declining, too.

The Iowa Secretary of State’s office has an elections division, but it also has a business division that handles documents for non-profits, corporations, partnerships that operate in Iowa.