Letters to the Editor

Questions about Election Day


The Southeast Iowa Union story “Washington County getting poll workers with help from state” (News section, Sept. 4) is very informative. Auditor Dan Widmer has addressed questions on the minds of voters as we hear of threats to our vote.

Between now and Election Day all of Iowa’s 99 county auditors should periodically anticipate and publicly address these and other questions.

For political purposes, President Donald Trump has cast fear on a democratic process that has worked just fine and kept our nation safe and free.

Voters are worried.

The burden to alleviate voter worry falls on state and local election officials.

Some questions on our minds:

• Will all precincts be fully staffed Election Day and required party balance met?

• Are any polling places being removed?

• Are high schools and colleges being tapped for workers?

• Is the auditor experiencing difficulty staffing the Auditor’s Office?

• Does the auditor have enough funds, work space and secure storage for an increased volume of mail-in voting?

• In the face of COVID-19 how are voters in care centers being reached to vote?

• What are the Election Day COVID-19 safeguards?

• If polling place staffing is difficult can the compensation be increased with CARES act or other funds?

Washington County is wisely adding a fifth person to the polling team to allow breaks and rest for the workers over a very long day.

Are other auditors doing the same?

How are mail-in ballots secured? Who is present during the opening and counting? In the process who determines if and why a ballot is spoiled or challenged? Who observes or reviews this process?

How are results tabulated, reported and audited?

Iowans have always had full confidence in the safety of our elections and confidence in the officials who conduct them. This must continue despite the political threats to what we hold dear. An informed electorate and dedicated workers will see us through.

David Helman