My parents instilled in me at an early age the importance of giving back to the community. I have dedicated my life to that principle. Whether I was serving as a state senator, mayor of Cedar Rapids, or secretary of state, I have always remembered the citizens are my boss. I work for you.
When I campaigned to return to the Secretary of State’s Office in 2014, I made five major pledges. It is with great pride I can tell you, I followed through on all five.
My No. 1 goal was to instill election integrity in our system with a voter ID plan that makes it easy to vote, but hard to cheat, and ensures no eligible voter is turned away. That is what we accomplished.
Polls have repeatedly shown Iowans overwhelmingly support voter ID. We made sure to do it right, by mailing free IDs to every eligible Iowan who does not have one.
Another campaign promise was to implement online voter registration. Since its launch, more than 100,000 Iowans have used the system.
I pledged four years ago that I would make it easier for our overseas military to vote. We extended the time to request an absentee ballot for soldiers stationed in remote places.
Instituting a Safe at Home address confidentiality program for survivors of violence was another promise. There are now 500 Iowans able to lead more normal lives without fear of their actual address being made public.
I also pledged to streamline Iowa’s business filing system. Thanks to Fast Track Filing, registering a new business now takes less than 10 minutes. The processing time was three weeks when I took office.
Our work is not done. Cyber- security has become a top priority for secretaries of state. My staff and I remain constantly vigilant and we have formed partnerships with county, state and federal entities to protect the sanctity of the ballot.
Our elections face new and difficult challenges each day. It’s more vital than ever to have an experienced Iowa secretary of state. We cannot afford on-the-job training when the integrity of our elections is at stake.
I have called Cedar Rapids my home since I was very young and I’m proud my family and I continue to live here. It is truly an honor to serve as your secretary of state, and I humbly ask for your vote on Nov. 6.
• Paul Pate is the Republican candidate for Iowa Secretary of State.
All candidate guest columns in the Iowa Secretary of State race:
• Jules Ofenbakh (no column submitted, endorsement meeting video)