Iowa Secretary of State and Republicans Announce Plan to Make Wasteful Spending Top Priority

Des Moines–Yesterday felt like a trip down memory lane for Iowans as the Iowa Secretary of State’s office announced a plan to relaunch efforts and ask for more taxpayer money to combat a voter fraud problem that simply doesn’t exist in Iowa. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced proposed legislation that would “require ID of all voters at polling site . . . signatures will be verified at polling sites”. Pate entitled his proposal the “Election Integrity Act of 2017”. Pate’s proposal isn’t the first time that Iowa Republicans or the Secretary of State’s office has asked taxpayers for money to waste on a non-existent problem. In 2014, then Secretary of State Matt Schultz launched a witch hunt that turned up little evidence and cost $250,000. The fact is Voter ID laws are intended to suppress the vote of the elderly and disabled, people who are homebound and/or do not normally drive.

Only a few months ago, Secretary Pate assured Iowa voters that ”Iowa is one of the best states in the nation for both voter participation and voter integrity.” Iowa nationally recognized as one of the best states for election integrity. Iowa auditors take their jobs seriously and in the past have acted swiftly to combat the few, actual voter fraud attempts. While Iowa schools starve and the Branstad/Reynolds administration continues to throw millions of dollars to preserve a failing Medicaid crisis, Iowans cannot afford to spend about a million dollars to combat a non-existent problem for the sole purpose of impeding Iowans’ access to the polls

A Timeline of the Narrative Iowa Republicans Don’t Want You to Read

The Wasteful Spending of former Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz

October 24, 2012

Matt Schultz may be hurting, not helping voter I.D. cause

The Gazette

“If anything, Schultz, through what we view as nakedly political activity, has played into the hands of Democratic opponents who argue his real agenda is to keep likely Democratic voters (seniors, the poor, minorities) away from the polls.”

February 4, 2014

Iowa’s Schultz seeks more funds for voter fraud probe

The Gazette

“Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz will ask the Legislature for $140,000 to pursue voter fraud for another year despite openly hostile criticism from Senate majority Democrats Tuesday for his two-year investigation.”

May 9, 2014

Iowa’s Republican Secretary of State Just Proved That Voter ID Laws Are Unnecessary

Think Progress

“But while Schultz has frequently scared Iowa voters with allegations of thousands of possible non-citizens voting in the state and living people showing up at the polls to cast ballots in the name of dead voters, the investigation revealed found an infinitesimal number of illegal votes cast and zero cases of impersonation at the polls.”

May 14, 2014

The Register’s Editorial: Schultz’s crusade heavy on cost, light on fraud

Des Moines Register

“Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz concludes that ‘illegal voters are participating in Iowa’s elections.’ Actually, the report shows there is very little “fraud” by would-be or actual voters. And the report reveals that Schultz got very little of value in return for the criminal investigation that has cost the state $250,000.”

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate Assures Iowans of Election Integrity

October 18, 2016

Cass County Auditor’s Office issues statement about election integrity


“The Cass County Auditor’s Office, Tuesday, released a statement with regard to concerns some may have over “Election rigging.” The statement said “Iowa’s county auditors, Republican, Democratic, and Independent, are proud of their reputation for fair and honest elections.”

“Monday afternoon, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (The Commissioner of Elections), said he and Iowa’s 99 county auditors take the “integrity” of voting seriously and Pate said ‘It is not helpful’ to have Donald Trump tweeting that there is “large scale voter fraud” happening in America.”

October 17, 2016

Statement from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate on election integrity

Iowa Secretary of State

“Iowa is one of the best states in the nation for both voter participation and voter integrity. Participation and integrity are not mutually exclusive. We work on a bipartisan basis every day with Republicans and Democrats, and all 99 county auditors, to maintain the integrity of the vote.”

October 17, 2016

Iowa officials firm: Our elections are not rigged

Des Moines Register

“An examination of Iowa’s election process shows a good record of protecting the integrity of a voting system that is one of the cleanest in the country and with strong voter participation, Pate said. He noted that Iowa’s polls are monitored by bipartisan poll watchers, saying that Iowa’s election process is operated by people who have received professional training.”

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate Announces Plans to Waste More Money to Address a Non-existent Issue

January 5, 2017

Proposal would require ID for Iowa voters

Des Moines Register

“Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa contend voter fraud is rare in Iowa. They point out that Pate’s predecessor, Matt Schultz, spent $250,000 and hired an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent specifically to investigate voter fraud, but the effort had generated only a handful of convictions as of May 2014.”

“According to the 2016 Perceptions of Electoral Integrity survey conducted by the Electoral Integrity Project, an independent academic project based at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and University of Sydney, Iowa received the second highest score nationally on the Electoral Integrity Index. The only state that ranked higher than Iowa was Vermont.”

January 5, 2017

Iowa Secretary of State rolls out voter ID proposal (AUDIO)

Radio Iowa

“Pate, who is a Republican, is asking legislators to set aside $1 million to ensure each Iowa county has an electronic poll book, to scan ID cards to check if the person is an eligible Iowa voters.”

“Critics like Senate Democratic Leader Rob Hogg say there’s little evidence of widespread voter fraud and Pate’s proposal is a solution to a non-existent problem.”

“‘We need to invite Iowans in to a new era of citizenship and participation and positive service and part of that is voting and not creating artificial barriers,’ Hogg said during the Associated Press Legislative Seminar on Wednesday.”

January 5, 2017

Pate proposes changes to bolster Iowa election integrity

Lee Newspapers

“Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate on Wednesday proposed a $1 million upgrade to the state’s election system to guard against fraud by using electronic poll books statewide and requiring voter or signature verification at polling places and for absentee ballots.”

“The proposed legislation would cost $500,000 up front to create the voter identification cards and likely another $35,000 annually after the initial one-time start-up cost. Pate is seeking another $500,000 to establish a revolving fund to provide electronic poll books in all 99 counties.”