Candidates for Secretary of State discuss election security

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 10:16 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate was in Blackhawk County Tuesday where the ballot boxes were being checked ahead of the November elections.

“It’s just one more significant step that gives confidence to the voter that we were doing this in a bipartisan and transparent way,” said Pate. “They don’t have to sit around and wonder if the auditor or secretary of state doing it right.”

His Democratic opponent, Joel Miller, agreed transparency was needed but worried not enough was being done.

“We have 99 tentacles hanging off of the machine that’s in Des Moines and we don’t know if the end-users, whatever county that may be, maybe doing everything they should be.”

Miller said each county’s information was attached directly to the state’s database to report numbers. It was something he said leaves room for some type of cyber-attack on the data.

“We have an 18-year-old system, I know there’s an RFP, I know there’s a vendor that’s selected, but we’re going to be using this system for potentially the next couple of years,” he said.

Pate said there was no such threat during the 2020 election and that the machines correctly county. On top of that, the re-count by the bipartisan group showed that. He said getting an election wrong could cause real damage to democracy.

“Not to be dramatic about it, but the reality is that when that’s when the Russians win or the Chinese win without firing a bullet,” said Pate.