Woodbury County voters. (KSCJ photo)

The Iowa Firearms Coalition is calling for a formal investigation into allegations of voting improprieties at the Woodbury County Courthouse after receiving reports of a polling staffer providing false information about public measure 1 to voters prior to them casting their ballots.

The issue also known as the “Freedom Amendment” will add the right to keep and bear arms to Iowa’s state constitution if approved by voters. Three voters told the IFC that they were told by a polling staff member that should they decide to vote “yes” for public measure 1, “it would allow felons to have guns.” The IFC says the information is incorrect and may have consequently influenced voters to vote “no” who had spoken with that staffer prior to casting a ballot.

Woodbury County elections commissioner Pat Gill says he was made aware of the issue. “I’m aware of the complaint, but obviously, I can’t comment on it because apparently there’s an ongoing investigation,” Gill says. At least one of the voters who has been in touch with I-F-C tells the organization they are in the process of filing a report over the incident with the Woodbury County Sheriff’s office.

Gill says all of the poll workers are trained in what they can and cannot do while on the job. “I just want folks to know that precinct election officials are trained to do any electioneering and they are not supposed to answer any questions about candidates or public measures that are on the ballot,” Gill says. It’s not known how many voters the staffer in question may have given an opinion on the ballot issue before they voted.

IFC says they have reached out to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office and called for an immediate investigation into the allegations.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)