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Iowa Secretary of State: Elections Are Not Rigged

Sarah Boden/IPR
Iowa Public Radio
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate tells reporters elections in Iowa, "are not rigged." (10/17/2016)

Gov. Terry Branstad said on Monday morning that he has “great confidence” Iowa’s Secretary of State, county auditors and poll watchers will make sure the upcoming election is “honest and clean.”  But when asked about GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeting that Republican leaders deny that there’s “large scale voter fraud,” the governor pivoted to discussing what he perceives as a media bias against his party’s nominee.

“The integrity of our electoral process is critically important, and a lot of people are very skeptical today because they see the bias of the national press,” says Branstad. “They see what they consider to be collusion between the Clinton machine and [and the media.]”

Governor Branstad would not specifically explain if or how the national media could contribute to potential widespread voter fraud, beyond citing what he considers unfair coverage of the Trump campaign.

Andy McGuire, the head of Iowa’s Democratic Party, accuses Branstad of “blind loyalty to Donald Trump” and turning his back on Iowa voters.

On Monday afternoon Iowa’s Secretary of State held a press conference, where he told reports that Trump’s comments were “not helpful.”

“As the commissioner of elections, I can assure you and all Iowans that elections are not rigged,” says Pate. “I can say to Mr. Trump, and to others, and to Iowans, we’re going to have a fair, open election this November. Your vote will be counted if you’re an eligible elector.”

Pate adds his office works with Democrats and Republicans to insure electoral integrity, a system that has checks and balances.