JOHNSTON, Iowa – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate joined leaders of state and federal agencies on Monday to inform Iowans of the many measures in place to ensure a safe, smooth, and accurate June 7 primary election. The State of Iowa has received national awards for its election cybersecurity efforts and was recently named third best state in the nation for election administration.
“Here is our message to Iowans: We are dedicated to protecting the integrity of our elections and the sanctity of your vote,” Pate said. “Iowans vote on paper ballots. You can’t hack a paper ballot, and we have integrity measures like Voter ID, post-election audits, and bipartisan teams of poll workers built into the system to ensure the process is fair.”
U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Senior Election Security Lead Kim Wyman traveled to Iowa to join Pate at a news conference Monday at the Iowa National Guard’s Joint Forces Headquarters.
“Election officials and CISA staff have been working for years here in Iowa to ensure the security and resilience of the 2022 elections,” Wyman said. “Fair and free elections are a hallmark of American democracy. The American people’s confidence that their vote will be counted as cast relies heavily on the security and resilience of the infrastructure that makes the Nation’s elections possible. Accordingly, an electoral process that is both secure and resilient is a vital national interest and one of CISA’s highest priorities.”
Pate referred to the group of agency leaders assembled at the news conference Monday as his “Election Security A-Team”.
“In support of this year’s election, the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) relaunched the Cybersecurity Operations Center to provide 24-hour-a-day cyberthreat monitoring and heightened support during this year’s elections,” said Shane Dwyer, chief information security officer for the OCIO.
Protecting the integrity of Iowa’s elections also means ensuring voters and poll workers are safe.
“The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is proud to support Iowa’s election safety and security efforts,” said Department Director John Benson. “We want to ensure every Iowa voter has the opportunity to freely, safely, and securely cast their vote.”
Secretary Pate and other speakers also urged Iowans to be leery of election misinformation and disinformation.
“Voting is one of our most sacred civic responsibilities, and the Department of Public Safety will do everything in its power to ensure all Iowans can discharge that responsibility safely and with confidence,” said Stephan Bayens, commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety. “We are constantly monitoring and assessing digital and physical threats designed to undermine the public’s confidence in our electoral process. We are also seeking to educate Iowans on ways they can avoid falling prey to those seeking to sow seeds of confusion and mistrust.”
General Shawn Ford from the Iowa National Guard was also on hand for Monday’s news conference.
Polls will be open across Iowa from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Tuesday for the June primary election. Voters should visit VoterReady.Iowa.gov or their county auditor’s website to find their polling place and other election-related information.