ALL Iowans Can Use Paper At Polls!!!

Any Iowa voter can use paper ballots at the polling place on November 7, even in counties that do not offer them to voters. That is according to Deputy Secretary of State Charlie Krogmeier.

All polls have on hand some paper ballots in case there is a machine failure or for use as provisional ballots by citizens whose voter registration is in doubt. ANY VOTER can ask to use those paper ballots.

Krogmeier told Iowans for Voting Integrity president Carole Simmons that

While we have intsructed Auditors to tell their precinct election officials that any voter may use one if they ask, we are not “advertising” this . . .

I’ll bet not. The case against touchscreen voting is getting so much press, officials probably fear they’ll cause a stampede if they hint that alternatives might be advisable.

I’m under no such constraints. I’m positive alternatives are advisable. Since the legislature failed last March to require a paper trail, it is time to blaze the trail at the grassroots.

If you live in one of the touchscreen counties and plan on voting at the polls, feel free to ask for a paper ballot.

I imagine this will cause considerable consternation at your polling place, but no one ever said it would be easy to get our paper trail!

Just be sure not to clog up the polling place with your insistance on using paper. Don’t deprive other voters of their opportunity while you quietly insist that you can use the ballots that are right there within reach.

And consider two caveats:

One–At the close of voting your paper ballot may be copied into the touchscreen terminal anyway. The touchscreen is their adding machine and record keeper of choice. They may be better organized if they get all the votes on the same counter.

Don’t despair. You will have made your point.

Two–If you are the only obstreperous voter who demands a verifiable voting method, your votes will become known to the pollworkers who enter your ballot into the touchscreen at 9 pm election night. If you plan to vote for any corrupt, curmudgeonly, torture-condoning candidates, you may not want it to be revealed in this way.

But if you are like me, having stickers on your car and signs in your yard, and planning to vote only for the lesser of two evils or for visionary, good government candidates, then why worry if the pollworkers know what you have done?

THIS IS A TREMENDOUS STEP FORWARD, imho. It’s not the holy grail of a completely audited election, of course. It is a baseline. Every Iowan can now have a paper trail for his/her own ballot. And everyone who creates that trail sends a message to the legislature and the local auditor about how we want elections to be conducted.

Be sure to do it if you live in the the pink counties on this map.

3 Responses to “ALL Iowans Can Use Paper At Polls!!!”

  1. Carole Simmons Says:

    Jerry, I’m one of your biggest fans, but beg to differ on this post.

    My recommendation to those in all-DRE counties is:
    Vote on paper by voting absentee.

    All paper-ballots-on-request-at-the-poll in these counties will be considered provisional, and hence subject to challenge. Iowa code does not require auditors to provide these ballots, except in case of power failure or machine malfunction, etc. So there’s a good chance your ballot may be rejected. Whereas all Iowa voters have a right to request an absentee ballot.

    If I lived in a county using only DREs, I’d go to the auditor’s office and vote early (=absentee) on a paper ballot.

    Let’s hope voters avoid the touchscreens, one way or the other!


  2. Jerry Depew Says:

    Provisional ballots are not the same as challenged ballots. Ballots are cast provisionally when the registration of the voter is in dispute. If the registration can be verified after polls close, the ballot will be counted.

    If the registration is not in dispute, I see no problem. Counties can’t throw out your vote just because they are offended by your choice of ballot style. And if they gave you the paper ballot, how can they challenge it as inappropriate?

  3. Carole Simmons Says:

    You may be right about the ballots not being subject to challenge. Nonetheless, voters might want to check to see how these paper ballots will be counted. In at least some counties, absentee ballots - and presumably these paper ballots as well - will be counted by being entered onto the touchscreens by election workers.

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