Government

Abby Finkenauer campaign source of erroneous polling texts

Iowa Rep. Abby Finkenauer walks into The Smokestack after winning the Democratic primary on Tuesday, June 5. Finkenauer was one of four Democrats facing off in Tuesday's primary election to represent their party in this fall's election against Republican U.S. Rep. Rod Blum. (Eileen Meslar/ the Telegraph Herald)
Iowa Rep. Abby Finkenauer walks into The Smokestack after winning the Democratic primary on Tuesday, June 5. Finkenauer was one of four Democrats facing off in Tuesday's primary election to represent their party in this fall's election against Republican U.S. Rep. Rod Blum. (Eileen Meslar/ the Telegraph Herald)

DES MOINES — Turns out the Abby Finkenauer campaign was the source of the erroneous polling location texts sent Tuesday, according to the Iowa Secretary of State.

The text messages were sent to four counties with incorrect information on polling locations.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate was made aware of the texts Monday evening, and on early Tuesday issued a statement warning people about them.

After an investigation, it was determined that Finkenauer’s campaign was the source of the texts.

Finkenauer, 28, won the Democratic nomination Tuesday to face off against Rep. Rod Blum in the U.S. House 1st District. She has served in the Iowa House since 2014 as a representative from Dubuque.

“The Finkenauer campaign and its vendor were cooperative with our investigation and stated that a corrective text message had been sent out to voters,” said Kevin Hall, Secretary of State’s Office communication director.

“After speaking with the campaign and their vendor, (Pate) has concluded that the inaccurate text messages were the result of the campaign’s data management error, and were not malicious in nature.”

Finkenauer’s campaign manager, Joe Farrell, said in a statement Wednesday that a few dozen people were affected by the text messages.

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“As part of our efforts to engage voters and increase participation in this election, our campaign sent out text messages on Monday reminding voters of Election Day and where they go to vote. When we heard that there might have been a problem with texts from our campaign, we took immediate action,” Farrell said. “We contacted our vendor to start investigating how this might have occurred and who may have been impacted. We then sent out a text asking voters to check their polling location with the Secretary of State’s office and provided a link to the polling location finder.”

Farrell said the campaign then contacted the Secretary of State’s office about the error.

“Our understanding is that a few dozen people were sent inaccurate polling locations unintentionally,” Farrell said.

“We apologize for the confusion this might have caused any voters,” he said.

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