Secretary of State Paul Pate says his office has been trying to “debunk” the myths and disinformation being posted on social media about voting in Iowa.

“We’re reminding them we’re not hooked up to the internet and we remind them that we vote with those paper ballots,” Pate says. “And we’ve got poll workers out there to have eyes on the site at all times to make sure that everything’s on the up and up.”

Vote tabulators are not connected to the internet and Pate has  been telling people there’s no way for the machines to be hacked.

“They’re getting these stories about other states and then they’re concerned that maybe — maybe — Iowa might have some of that,” Pate says, “so we have to spend a lot of extra time reminding them of all we’ve done to protect us.”

County auditors report steady to strong turnout today, according to Pate, and there’s a chance more Iowans will vote in this year’s midterm election compared to 2018.

“We’ve had three straight years of records,” Pate says. “I don’t know if we’ll get another record this year, but I think it’s going to be a strong turnout.”

Iowans have 13 hours to vote today at their local precinct. The polls close at 8 p.m., but if there’s a line of people waiting to vote, Pate says there’s a process to ensure those people will get to cast a ballot.

“The precinct chair will go out at eight o’clock and determine where the end of the line is and they have a process in which they will identify that point, so those folks will be able to vote — even if it takes another half hour for them to get in, they will get to vote,” Pate says. “Now, if someone’s showing up at 8:15 or 8:10, they’re not going to have that opportunity.”

County auditors have received at least 370,000 early votes via absentee ballot or in-person voting at county election offices. As of this morning, nearly 13,000 absentee ballots sent to Iowa voters had not been returned. Absentee ballots must be inside county auditors’ offices by 8 p.m. tonight to be part of the vote count.

“I’d just remind any of those people who potentially might have an absentee ballot sitting at their house and, if they want to vote, don’t mail it in because it won’t get there to get counted,” Pate says.

Absentee ballots may be returned the county auditor’s office or surrendered at a local precinct. The voter will be given a regular ballot to cast instead.

Radio Iowa