Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans Vice President Kay Pence: “… simply punting to overburdened local officials will not cut it. Secretary of State Pate must take action to stop these outrageous attempts to make it harder for older Iowans to vote.”
After a court ruling that would force Linn County to “invalidate 50,000 requests for absentee ballots,” Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans Vice President Kay Pence is calling on Secretary of State Paul Pate to immediately outline specific steps he is taking to ensure every single one of those 50,000 Iowans are able to vote by mail.
This is especially troubling because COVID-19 numbers in Iowa are rising sharply and voting by mail is vital to ensuring seniors and older Iowans are able to safely vote in this year’s election. In fact, ahead of the June 2nd primary, Secretary of Paul Pate even encouraged seniors – who are now facing an uphill battle to vote because of this ruling – to vote by mail, stating: “The safety of our voters has to be the top priority during this pandemic and the safest way to vote in the June primary will be by mailing an absentee ballot.”
In July, AARP released a poll detailing how older Iowans strongly back voting by mail.
“This is an alarming court ruling for Iowa’s seniors. None of us should have to worry about risking our health during a pandemic or jumping through bureaucratic hoops just to exercise our fundamental right to vote,” Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans Vice President Kay Pence stated. “Older Iowans deserve to hear Secretary of State Pate immediately outline the specific steps he is going to take to ensure every single of those 50,000 Iowans, with ballot requests that were wrongly invalidated, are able to vote. As the state’s chief election officer, simply punting to overburdened local officials will not cut it. Secretary of State Pate must take action to stop these outrageous attempts to make it harder for older Iowans to vote.”
Pence added: “Furthermore, if yesterday’s court ruling faces a challenge, Secretary Pate must answer the following questions. First, what will you do to support the right of local counties like Linn, Johnson and Woodbury to make it easier to vote by mail? And second, will you call on your national political party’s leader to stop taking legal action to interfere with our successful vote-by-mail system?”
Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans is a nonpartisan advocacy organization that focuses on educating and informing their membership, the public, and elected officials about issues that affect the well-being of retirees and senior citizens.