Letters to the Editor

Auditor's office addresses concerns

Anyone experiencing hypertension regarding the integrity of our election infrastructure?

Because one always should double check news arriving on social networks, a friend suggested that I contact the Linn County Auditor’s Office. I did so, initially hoping to be allowed to read documents that might help allay some of my concerns.

To my surprise, I was offered a face-to-face meeting with Auditor Joel Miller and Deputy Commissioner of Elections Rebecca Stonawski. We spent a whole (and pleasant!) hour discussing a variety of concerns. Miller and Stonawski offered me publicly accessible reference documents to address my curiosity.

From a formal resolution presented at the Democratic caucus this month, my four questions with answers from this auditor’s office team:

1. Do we preserve optically scanned ballots for postelection audits? Answer: Yes, for 22 months following presidential elections.

2. Will ES&S “Express Vote” accessibility Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs) ever become mandatory for all? Answer: No, although BMDs can be used by any voter who so chooses.

3. Do ES&S DS-200 optical ballot scanners undergo appropriate internet security analysis/testing? Answer: Yes, including prescribed federal, state and elective county/third-party network vulnerability testing.

4. Are postelection audits performed to ensure that ES&S machinery is faithfully recording the votes of Linn County citizens? Answer: The Iowa secretary of state continues to work on this, as rules are written to implement HF 516 (authorized by former Gov. Terry Branstad).

I hope a robust and statistically significant auditing process is ultimately prescribed.

Dale G. March

Cedar Rapids

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