Iowa’s top election official says there’s a team of state and federal officials working to ensure the safety of Iowa voters, poll workers and ballots in Tuesday’s Primary.
“We are dedicated to protecting the integrity of our elections and the sanctity of your vote,” Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said
Pate held a news conference this morning at the Iowa National Guard headquarters to discuss election security, emphasizing that Iowans use paper ballots and tabulating machines are not connected to the Internet. But Pate said he often gets reports of
misinformation — some of it malicious — about Iowa’s elections.
“With social media the way it is, it’s very easy for people to put information out there that can be misleading or tampering in some ways with an election, so we have be cognizant of it,” Pate said. “We have to keep people informed of the facts and do our very best.”
Kim Wyman of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency said misinformation online is often from some of the countries that are engaged in cyber attacks on U.S. targets.
“Places like Russia and Iran and China is we’ve seen them use mis-, dis- and mal-information campaigns to spread information that is not true to undermine not only confidence in our election system,” she said, “but to sow discord between Americans and to pit Americans against each other.”
Iowa Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens said staff in his agency are operating an intelligence hub to monitor digital and physical threats from both foreign and domestic adversaries that are related to Iowa elections.
“Our duty and focus is to educate Iowans on efforts to spread disinformation through emails and social media as well as any physical threats to our polling places on election day,” Bayens said.
Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management director John Benson announced that his agency recently used federal Homeland Security funding to buy secure storage equipment for 21 county auditors. “This investment will enable county auditors to more securely store and use their election equipment,” Benson said.
This is the first election after redistricting of congressional and legislative districts. That means precinct voting sites will be different for many voters. Pate said voters may find that a person who has represented them before in the U.S. congress or the state legislature may no longer be on their ballot because of district boundary changes