LINN COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - Voters in eastern Iowa may recall seeing a strange text message directing them to the wrong polling location.
According to Linn County Auditor Joel Miller, a voter reported the first text in Linn County around 8:40 p.m. Monday.
Miller said his office then contacted the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office found voters in four Iowa counties received those texts, and it was due to an error by one of the campaigns. The office does not have reason to believe the act was malicious.
Miller said the situation was disruptive to the voting process.
“Anything like this causes people to have less faith in the voting process, and we saw that happen in November 2016, and now it continues to happen. We didn’t expect this to happen today, this is kind of a new angle on things, but it’s still disruptive,” he said.
In Center Point, a split polling location accommodating both the city and Washington Township had some of the wrong ballots. Once notified, Miller corrected the problem.
He said a team of democrats and republicans remarked the ballots and fed them through as normal. It is something Miller said he cannot recall happening in recent years.
“Those ballots did not go through the machine, which proves our security does work. You can’t put the wrong ballot through our optical scanners, if it’s not supposed to be there, it gets rejected, and that’s what happened,” Miller said.
He said with three different parties and split precincts during the primary, it could cause a lot of complexity that you do not see in a general election.