Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, who won re-election this month over Democratic challenger Deidre DeJear, says he’ll be taking a closer look at Iowa’s nominating petition process for people who are seeking to have their name placed on the ballot.
“In regards to being able to track who is processing those or being the promoter of these signatures, so we can take care of the questions that come up,” Pate said. “You know, who are these people? Are they real names? After we went through last cycle, I want to make sure we’ve done a little more work on that front.”
The issue gained attention in the spring when former Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett fell eight signatures short of what he needed on his nominating petitions to have his name on the Republican Primary ballot for governor.
While no requests for recounts were submitted in statewide races in the November 6 election, Pate suggests a review of Iowa’s recount process is needed. “Just because it comes up and it’s not clear,” Pate said. “We do not have an automatic recount process in Iowa. Frankly, it’s one of those things that we don’t want to have to do if you can help it. We want to avoid it if we can, but if we’re going to do it, we want to make sure we have procedures in place. So, I’m sure we’re be talking about it more.”
Aside from those matters, Pate doesn’t plan to pursue many other election-related changes. “We’ve got a pretty full plate with moving to the 17-year-olds being able to register to vote next year if they’re 18 by November and we have the merging of the city and school elections, so those are pretty big lists,” Pate said. “Then, of course, finishing the implementation of voter ID. So, I don’t really think I want to add much more.”
A bill signed into law by former Governor Terry Branstad requires Iowans to show an ID before they vote. Beginning in 2019, voters without the necessary ID will be offered a provisional ballot and can provide identification up until the Monday after election day for Primary and General Elections.